Drought, Heat May Mean Shortage of Halloween Pumpkins

MEMPHIS, TN - The severe drought and high temperatures that have pummeled the Mid-South lately may mean a shortage of pumpkins come Halloween.

Tennessee usually ranks between sixth and tenth in the nation in pumpkin production.  But this year, out-of-state pumpkins are going to have to make up a jack-o'-lantern shortfall.

University of Tennessee extension agent George Kilgore says the high temperatures and lack of water causes the plants to wilt and prevents energy from going to the plant's roots.

The drought and heat also inhibits insects that pollinate pumpkin flowers.  Plants that do survice the climate conditions may not bear much fruit.

And the plants that do produce fruit will bear smaller pumpkins than usual.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)