Southern Indiana farmers left with fields full of decomposing pu - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southern Indiana farmers left with fields full of decomposing pumpkins

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SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- Thousands of decomposing pumpkins are scattered in fields all across southern Indiana and farmers say they'll likely go to waste.

It's a sea of orange along Highway 150 in Fredericksburg and there are decomposing pumpkins as far as the eye can see outside of Sellersburg.

They're the ones nobody wanted to take home, but why are so many left to rot?

Ken Graf has been raising pumpkins just outside Sellersburg near Hamburg for close to 40 years.

He says it's not that pumpkins aren't in high demand.

"Pumpkin crop is big business," he told WDRB.

This year, he says, there was an overly abundant crop with the same amount of customers.

"Well I had a whole lot more than usual and you never know who's gonna come in. It's not guaranteed," he said.

Graf grew around 8,000 pumpkins on 12 acres this year.

"Some people could buy ten, some people buy five. It's not consistent," he said.

He sells his pumpkins out of The Pumpkin Shed from mid-September to mid-October.

"You still make money. You just didn't make as much as you could have," he explained.

Farmers say it's a constant balancing act trying to please the buyer.

"They're wanting something more than just your traditional pumpkin. They're wanting something tall and long or skinny or real fat," A.J. Huber told WDRB.

"I'd rather have a good crop and have a few left over than have a bad year and be way short," said Graf.

Competition these days is stiff.

"You've got more people doing it and everybody, not just me, had a good crop," Graf said.

As for the decaying pumpkins, "They'll just decompose and go back into the ground, you know, just like compost. Probably another month or two, there won't hardly be nothing left. They'll be gone," Graf told WDRB.

Farmers don't have any predictions on what next year's crop will be like. They say it all depends on Mother Nature.

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