B.C.'s extreme heat may be responsible for rotten pumpkin crop

The director of Maan Farms in Abbotsford, B.C., figures half of this year’s pumpkin crop is ruined.

On a routine inspection, Amir Maan noticed the skin on the top of the pumpkins looked good, but the bottoms didn’t look right.

“You see the base just crumbles, it’s soft," he said picking one up. “We can’t sell them because we don’t want kids to go home, carve their pumpkins, and all of a sudden it goes to mush.”

He said it's normal for some pumpkins to rot on farms, but not this many, and not this early in the season. The farmer believes B.C.’s record-breaking summer heat and recent heavy rains are to blame.

“It could be the stress the pumpkins were put through when it was so hot,” said Maan. “They may have ripened too soon.”

The farm is well-known for its pumpkins and still has hundreds to sell, though many are being bought from other growers in the region.

“I’ve never seen it this bad,” added Maan. “Previous years we’ve had times where we’ve lost five, 10, 15 per cent of our pumpkins. But we’ve never seen years where we’ve lost 50 per cent at the beginning of October.”

The rotten bunch will be given away for free on Wednesday to other farms and to animal sanctuaries, so it can be used as feed and fertilizer.