Michigan pumpkin farmers are feeling the high costs of inflation

One Michigan farmer said this year's pumpkin crop cost 15-20% more than last year.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Inflation is on a lot of people minds as we head into the holidays - and we’re not just talking about Christmas. Pumpkin farmers in Mid-Michigan said they’re trying to hold the line on prices before Halloween.

Pumpkin farmers were hit hard this year due to inflation. From the costs of mulch, fertilizer and diesel fuel, farmers said everything has gone up.

Related: 5,000 hand carved jack-o’-lanterns to light up Ingham County Fairgrounds

Bob Barkham, who owns Barkham Creek, said this year’s pumpkin patch cost 15-20% more than last year.

“Fertilizer costs went from $600 a ton to $900 a ton. It’s a considerable difference,” Barkham said. “We also use drip irrigation, so those materials because of the plastics and fuel costs went up quite a bit.”

Barkham said although his pockets are hurting, customers will not see a change.

“Quite often costumers go out of here with 6 or 8 pumpkins many gourds, corn stalks, or straws yields preparing for holiday decorations.”

About 30 miles north of Barkham Creek farm, in Saint Johns, Andy T’s is experiencing similar issues with inflation.

“What we’re seeing is that they’re buying more of what I call medium pumpkin, a 20 pounder versus a 40 pounder,” said owner Andy Todoscuik. “So, in other words, they don’t want to spend $15-20, they want to spend $5-8.”

So far Andy T’s costs haven’t increased, but Todoscuik said if inflation continues to rise, his prices will do the same.

“We’ll you have to because, sooner or later, if you’re going to keep your doors open, you can’t give it away,” Todoscuik said. “You better know your cost, because if you don’t know your cost, you’ll be having yourself an auction sale.”

Other than the cost of producing pumpkins this year, both farmers were happy with how their crops turned out.

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