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Big freeze leaves Utah short on pumpkins

HOO, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Farmer Verity Bachelor sits with the new pumpkin crop at "PYO Pumpkins" on October 4, 2017 in Hoo, England. The company began in 2009 and allows families to visit the site to pick their own pumpkins, ahead of Halloween events on October 31. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

CLEARFIELD, Utah — It’s scary to think that just days before Halloween, Utah is coming up short on the pumpkin supply.  A freeze has wiped them out on farms like Beck Family Farms in Centerfield.  David Beck says an early cold snap left some pumpkins that appear to be normal but are soft to the touch.  Beck says leaving one of those pumpkins on the porch over a short time will turn out to be a messy cleanup.

“If you put it on your porch, instead of a pumpkin to throw away, you’re going to have a pile of stuff you’re going to have to remove with a scoop shovel. Then you’ll be mad at me,” Beck jokes.

Other suppliers across the Beehive State say they’re seeing the same thing.  Temperatures have already dipped down to below 30 degrees which is unusual this time of year.  According to the website eHow.com, frost and cold temperatures will often kill the vine-growing fruit.  They take up to 120 days to grow to maturity and generally require warmer temperatures during the growing season.  Stored properly at between 45 and 55 degrees, the pumpkin can last up to three months after harvest.

Pumpkin procrastinators better act fast.  Beck Family Farms says they’ll likely not be able to ship even what’s left of the good pumpkins after next week.