Pumpkin Patches Hit Hard by Drought

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RENO, NV - The ongoing drought has made life difficult for many farmers in northern Nevada. The lack of rain and snow pack has forced several pumpkin patches in Washoe County to get a lot of their water from outside sources. Frank Ferrari usually gets his water from the Truckee River, but this year he had to purchase it from the Truckee Meadows Water Authority.

"What we ended up having to do is we had a whole drip system put in for all of our corn and the pumpkins. We had to have water hauled in and trucked in, definitely a challenge. It was a huge difference in our cost, obviously having to buy the water then having to have it trucked in. There's quite a few crops, so there's a lot of water that's being used here. Definitely eats into the profits for sure," he says.

The Andelin Family Farm in Spanish Springs is in a similar situation. They lost access to their water source a month earlier than last year and also had to buy a lot of their water.

"We rely on our well for a couple of our fields, but instead of getting our ditch, like we usually do the whole season, we had to tap into the city water," says Natalie Andelin.

That's forced the Andelins to up their costs to help keep the farm going.

"Because we have to pay for that water we are upping our admission price by a dollar per person this year," says Andelin.

Andelin says the drought is causing more problems for their pumpkin patch than just a lack of water.

"Since we had such a mild winter we had a lot more bugs to deal with, like aphids. There was a lot more bunnies also (since) they all survived the winter. So, a lot of pests this year," says Andelin.

Despite the issues, farmers are making due with what they have and say they will be ready for opening day. The Andelin Family Farm will open September 26th and is doing a food drive for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. If you bring out a canned good you'll get a dollar off admission to the corn maze. Ferrari Farms opens October 1st and will feature an all-new zombie hunt this year.