Pumpkin crop abundant at Basse's Farm in Colgate

COLGATE -- Many farmers in southeastern Wisconsin were miserable during the hot, dry summer, and experts worried the summer drought would have a devastating impact on crop yields. However, as October begins and fall descends on southeastern Wisconsin, some farmers are actually optimistic about this season's pumpkin crop.

Roger Basse of Basse's Farm in Colgate said he's happy to see an abundance of pumpkins in his field.

"With pumpkins, you really can't tell what you have until the vines go down and you see orange in the field. For us, it was pleasantly surprising because there was quite a few pumpkins out here -- more than we expected," Basse said.

Basse said he knows some pumpkin farmers who also had a good crop, and others who struggled this year.

"The reason behind that, I think, is just the weather. When they got the rains, when they planted the pumpkin seeds -- a lot of variables come into play there," Basse said.

Those loading their wagons with pumpkins at Basse's Farm Sunday said they couldn't tell the Basse's faced big problems just a few months earlier.

"I wouldn't have known that because they've got these huge pumpkins! I've never seen pumpkins this big, so I would not have thought they would be worried," one visitor to Basse's Farm said.

Though his pumpkin crop was relatively unaffected by this summer's drought, Basse said the warm spell in March followed by a hard freeze ruined his apple crop.

Basse said he had to irrigate some of his pumpkin fields, but says rain came at the right time to finish the rest of the crop. Basse said even though the pumpkins are here for the fall season, he is still worried about the weather.

"If it's nice and sunny out, a lot of people come out, so we're hoping and praying for a nice October with nice days," Basse said.

Basse said he expects the next two weekends to be the busiest of the season.

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