view current print edition




Todd Greiner’s pumpkin outlook is ‘very excellent’

The pumpkin crop of Todd Greiner Farms, based in Hart, MI, “is looking very excellent,” according to the company’s owner, Todd Greiner. Shipping will begin on schedule soon after Labor Day,

On Aug. 3, Mr. Greiner said, “Our pumpkins are looking very nice. We have excellent quality.”

The company has planted 300 acres of pumpkins, which is about a 10 percent increase in volume over a year ago. The plantings of farms are staggered to extend the harvest season, Mr. Greiner indicated.

Tyler Hodges, the firm’s sales manager, indicated that the company has spread its weather risks by planting in about 20 locations in Michigan. The lowest farms, which are most susceptible to frost, will be harvested first.

Mr. Greiner said that his harvest will finish by Oct. 15 or Oct. 20. The bulk of the crop will be shipped between Sept 15 and Oct. 10, but, he reiterated, “We will be available to start shipping right after Labor Day. The pumpkins look strong, good and healthy.”

A major pumpkin grower in Illinois will not be in production this year, Mr. Hodges said, noting that should create “a stronger demand and strong f.o.b.s.”

Mr. Greiner added that another factor in reducing pumpkin supplies this fall is high grain prices. This is causing “a lot people to contract grain, instead of grow pumpkins for the fall.” He noted that national grain prices “are up tremendously.”

Jack-o-lantern-type pumpkins are the focus of Todd Greiner’s pumpkin production, but the company also produces “pie” pumpkins, which are popular small ornamentals that are mostly sold during the period between the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays, Mr. Hodges said.

Mr. Greiner noted that his predominant jack-o-lantern variety is Gladiator, a full-hybrid pumpkin that is “very uniform in size. It is very nice for shipping. It holds well and stores well. It is deep orange, is very, very strong to handle and is disease-resistant.”

The operation entirely ships its pumpkins in high-graphic bins that bear the farm name.

“We are excited about a good fall season and look forward to shipping a very excellent product,” Mr. Greiner said.