Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - For the second year in a row, Delaware's annual pumpkin flinging contest has been squashed.

Organizers of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin said Thursday that this year's event, scheduled for next month at Dover International Speedway, has been canceled because of problems finding insurance coverage.

Don Rush

The 2013 Punkin Chunkin saw a 4,694 foot shot in perfect weather on Friday by the New Hampshire based American Chunker Incorporated which never lost its lead for the rest of the weekend.

The contest ended with the Milton-based Young Glory III which held the record with a 44-hundred foot shot in 2008 until this weekend.

Punkin Chunkin is Back

Nov 1, 2013
Punkin Chunkin website

The 2013 World Championship Punkin Chunkin kicked off in Bridgeville today as serious and amatuer engineers try out their huge contraptions to heave a 8-to-10 pound pumpkin as far as they can.

Event organizer Frank Shade told WDEL that there are machines from as far away as Australia and New South Wales.

The event starts at 8 a.m. and runs thorugh Sunday at the Royal Farms in Bridgeville.

Tickets for adults are $10 per person per day.

Parking is included unless you’re towing a trailor or have an oversized vehicle.


Don Rush

SELBYVILLE, Del. (AP) - A pumpkin shortage is forcing a family-run market in Selbyville to close early this fall.

Johnson's Country Market will only be open by appointment until the end of the season, co-owner Keith Johnson tells The Daily Times of Salisbury.

The family harvests wholesale and carving pumpkins, but there are too few carving pumpkins in the field.

Cooler temperatures and heavy rains killed the first crop of pumpkins in July, too late for farmers to replant.

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The pumpkin crop in Delaware is down.

And that has caused Johnson’s County Market along Route 20 to close this season.

The co-owner Keith Jonson told the Wilmington News Journal that the local pumpkin crop has been hit pretty hard.

The paper says that the cooler temperatures and heavy rains killed the first crop of pumpkins this July and by the end of the month it was too late for farmers to replant. 

The high humidity and rain has caused the pumpkins to rot leaving them susceptible to powdery mildew.

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It’s been a wet year and that may make pumpkins in short supply this year.  

Cooler days and wet weather found farmers planting later in the year with many heavy rains drowning the first crop planted in July.

Paul Parsons is owner of Parsons Farms Produce in Dagsboro.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times that those rains caused many of his July and August pumpkins to rot.

Meanwhile, Tim Bell, owner of Community Organics in Greenwood, told the paper that he had lost some winter squash and pumpkins to insects.