Good year for apples but pumpkin crop struggling - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Good year for apples but pumpkin crop struggling

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- It's that time of the year when many of us head to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch.  One of those crops is having a banner year while the other continues to struggle.

 Last year's apple crop was the worst in nearly 70 years for Wisconsin farmers. 

"It pains us to keep talking about it but we lost about 90 percent of our apples so it was really a tough year," remembers Ferguson's Orchards Owner Andy Ferguson.

Apples budded early and the frost came in and wiped them out.  But this year, things are much better.

"The tides have changed and as you can see we have a pretty full crop of apples," Ferguson points out.  "So we are looking at about 100 to 110 percent of the apples that we would hope to see."

So the apple crop has definitely rebounded this year.  But that's something Wisconsin farmers really can't say about this year's pumpkin crop.

"Normally we look to have about 6,000 pumpkins growing here.  This year we are probably lucky to get 2,000," Ferguson relents.

Corn and soybeans are also struggling.  Eau Claire area farmers say the drought hit soybeans hard here this year. They are predicting they will be in short supply.  Farmers planted a record corn crop nationwide in 2013 and because so much was planted, we should see a high yield.  But farmers say the quality of corn isn't as good as they'd hoped.  The state estimates that 60 percent of corn in Wisconsin is rated very poor to fair because of this summers drought.  So farmers expect the price they get for their corn to go down.

Although Ferguson did say this has been a tough year for pumpkins, he says they will have enough to satisfy those of you looking to buy your Halloween pumpkins.

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