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Butte County pumpkin patch blames hot weather and smoke for ending its season early

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Butte County pumpkin patch blames hot weather and smoke for ending its season early

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Extreme weather is impacting area crops, including pumpkins forcing at least one area pumpkin patch to shut down early.

There should still be dozens of pumpkins for you to pick at TJ Farms Estates.

But if you look closely - you'll have a hard time picking them out. The owner David Moss had to close last week.

"We usually close up to Halloween just a really bad crop, part of the weather game," Moss said.

Because of the extreme weather, this year's crop was half the size of last year. But moss doesn't think it had anything to do with the drought situation.

"Not us particularly because we have good well water here. We have sprinklers right here. We can control the timing and the amount of water," Moss said.

Moss' pumpkin patch this year was 6 acres.

"We saw the male flowers got hit with the heat and smoke. It cuts down your photosynthesis rate," Moss said.

When all was said and done moss says TJ Farms lost 50 percent of its revenue this fall season.

"You can't blame anybody it's just an odd year and it's not just pumpkins it's a lot of the other crops too," Moss said.

TJ Farms have been a Chico area tradition for 30 years now.

Moss says this past summer filled with smoke, fire, and drought won't keep him from plowing ahead and planting a new crop next year.

"We'll just try it again. We had a real customer turnout. We'll run the same program. We had three acres this year that we did not have pumpkins in so that will go back into pumpkins next year. Hopefully, it will be better," Moss said.

TJ Farms also holds weddings and sells processed products. They were able to recover some of that lost money by selling pickles.

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