Halloween is looking to be scarier than usual for New Jersey's pumpkin farmers this year. A hot summer with heavy rains in June and late August have left the 1,500-odd acres of pumpkin patches in Jersey ripe for soil fungi that love to devour orange gourds. Farmers are reporting losing anywhere form 50-90% of their crops this year, forcing many to import pumpkins in "from as far away as Michigan and Canada."

The dearth of pumpkins may turn out to be a real disaster for some of the 244 farms in the State with pumpkin patches (according to a 2002 Department of Agriculture census) as many use the crop as a seasonal draw.

On a side note, you know it is October when the Halloween stories start hitting the wires...

Pumpkin Farm from Alida's flickr stream.