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How Farmers Form The Perfect Pumpkin

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DAYTON, Minn. (WCCO) – It is going to be a busy weekend at the pumpkin patch. That’s why for the rest of the week the WCCO Morning Show crew will be taking you out to the fields.

In Minnesota, farmers plant more than 5,000 acres of pumpkins.

The weather is always a factor, and this year’s conditions have surprisingly helped to form the perfect pumpkin.

Leo Dehn has ten acres of pumpkins on his farm in Dayton, Minn.

“We normally plant on Memorial Day weekend. This year it rained, rained, rained,” Dehn said. “We planted June 20 this year.”

And then the weather turned incredibly dry. Those weather extremes — including the end of the summer heat wave during the State Fair — somehow created the best pumpkin crop in a decade.

“The last couple weeks of heat really made a difference. It’s amazing what they did in three weeks,” Dehn said.

Last year’s drought led some pumpkin farmers to ship their crop out of state, but Dehn’s only grows to take care of customers on the farm.

Dehn’s pumpkins are just 35 cents a pound, which is the going rate at most local pumpkin farms. Dehn’s is located just northwest of Maple Grove near County Road 81 and Fernbrook.

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