Pumpkins are a small but important warm-season crop in Mississippi. Demand for pumpkins peaks at Halloween, although consumer demand continues through the remainder of fall. Mississippi growers must plant in July to be ready for this market window. Because of environmental conditions during the growing season, producers battle heat, humidity, and often extended rain, which all contribute to disease problems. Fungal diseases can reduce yields when not managed properly.
In early 2016, 27 Mississippi pumpkin growers were registered with Mississippi Market Maker, an Internet mapping tool that connects food producers with consumers in the U.S. Pumpkin acreage is scattered across the state, with no particular region laying claim to the majority of the crop. State producers grow an estimated 500 to 600 acres of pumpkins annually. Prices fluctuate widely with the market and size of the pumpkins.
Pumpkins are a fall staple and a great way to add a bit of festive decor to your home. I’ve had a pumpkin display out at my home since mid-September. I’ll keep this fall arrangement up until after Thanksgiving and then replace it with Christmas lights and decor.