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Irene, Rainy Summer Cause Pumpkin Shortage In Northeast

DRACUT (CBS/AP) - Pie. Seeds. Jack O' Lanterns.

When it comes to fall, nothing says it's this time of the year like a solid pumpkin. The problem is if you wait too long, you may not get one.

"Buy your pumpkins soon for the best availability because there's not going to be too many around this year," said David Dumaresq of Farmer Dave's in Dracut.

Dumaresq said an extra rainy summer and Tropical Storm Irene brought too much water to Massachusetts pumpkin patches, tipping the very delicate balance needed for a good crop.

WBZ-TV's Alana Gomez reports.

More pumpkins rotted in the field than normal and with this year's conditions, we can expect fewer and smaller varieties of the orange squash.

Irene did damage to crops throughout the Northeast. In New York, wholesale prices have doubled in some places and some farmers are trying to buy pumpkins from other regions to fill their orders.

Dumaresq says Massachusetts wasn't hit as hard but he is still fielding calls from desperate local farmers.

"I'm getting a lot of calls from other pumpkin retailers asking if I might have some pumpkins I'll be able to wholesale to them, but my response is 'sorry. I barely have enough for myself,'" said Dumaresq.

The eastern part of the state did fare better than the west. Some farms were completely spared, like Scanlan's Farm in Westford.

"I'm seeing more pumpkins and better pumpkins than I've seen in years," said Gerard Scanlan. "The luck of the draw you know."

Still, the advice this year is to grab them sooner than later or say goodbye to carving, roasting, stewing, and serving a fall favorite.

WBZ-TV's Alana Gomez contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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