[Market-farming] More Q's for expert large-scale Pumpkin Growers

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Wed Jul 7 08:55:06 EDT 2004


Matt

    The actual number of seeds in a pumpkin can be very variable but I would
expect 300-600 seeds in medium to large sized fruit. You need to make sure
the fruit are healthy themselves, free from virus expression in particular,
and come from a disease-free field. Germination rate should exceed 80% if
you do a good job of floating out the "blank" seeds (seed-coats without
seeds inside). You should clean them well, dry them down fully and store in
a cool, dry place.

    I would expect more than $100 a ton if they're in good condition. Around
here, $150 would be more likely for wholesale.

Bill Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center



>
>Question #1:
>
>How many seeds are in a typical 15 pound pumpkin?  I ask this becuase I'm
>wondering if it'd be cheaper for me to save seeds from pumpkins this year
>for next year's crop instead of buying 13,000 seeds (I mean, if there are
>500 seeds per pumpkin, I'd only need to buy 26 of 'em!).  Also, what is
>the germination rate for pumpkin seeds?  80%?  70%?
>
>Question #2:
>
>I've got a report that was created in 2001 for my area saying that pumpkin
>growers were getting about $102 per ton.  Is this a typical price in terms
>of growing pumpkins for wholesale?  (Yes, I realize that retail will get a
>higher price, but I'm not expecting to be able sell *all* of 'em that
>way!)
>
>Question #3:
>
>Would any of you be willing to share your income/expense sheet on a
>typical growing season?  I'm trying to write up a realistic proposal/plan
>for the landowner on who's land I'll be growing about 2 acres of pumpkins
>(and other mixed squash) next year, and some numbers from actual growers
>would be nice.  My current plan is to open the patch up to the public for
>the month of October 2005 and anything left I'll sell to a wholesaler.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Matt Cheselka
>Cosmic Lettuce
>
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