“We got a little bit of a late start this spring but throughout the late spring and early summer there were no major weather concerns,” he said. “I believe we’re going to have a later starting harvest this year with the heat units. We’ve been a little bit behind schedule on that. I think we’ll probably get in and harvest some corn the 20th to 25th of September and we probably won’t take any beans out until we’ve got several acres of them ready to run and try to get a big chunk of them done at once and then get back to the real work, which is the corn.”
But each year on the Howell farm there is plenty of color as you survey their one thousand acres of about a 50/50 split of pumpkins and tomatoes. Howell says it has been a good year for both crops and tomato harvest is now underway.
We’re looking forward to the best crop we’ve had in three years. We were fortunate enough to place fields in locations where we were able to get them irrigated this year and we didn’t have the concerns that we faced last year with the dry weather.”
He told HAT they are looking for an above average yield this year and “expecting to harvest somewhere between 35 and 37 tons of tomatoes per acre.”
The operation budgets for around 30 tons to the acre. Howell farms produces tomatoes for Red Gold and pumpkins for the big box stores and some local grocers. He tells HAT there will be ample pumpkins this season.
“We’ve got about 470 acres and there are several other growers across the state and we’ve not heard of any major concerns or crises related to pumpkin production this year. We’ll probably start harvesting some of our decorative, ornamental type pumpkins in the latter part of August to first of September.”
Pie pumpkins will also be harvested at the end of the month and pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns will be picked around the end of the first week of September.
Hear the full interview here:Aaron Howell