Business

No ‘gourd’ for farmers as pumpkin prices fall

FIGURES reveal pumpkin growers are facing an uncertain future, of which Gympie grower Kate Groves has already felt the pinch.

Average domestic pumpkin prices have dropped since 2009-10, with average production per farm also falling by 52% from 2008-09 to 2011-12.

The average price received per tonne in Australia was $375 in 2011-12, while production cost was around $610 per tonne.

The 2014 season marked Ms Groves fifth and worst year.

The Mary's Creek farmer always grew her pumpkins during the winter months to supply new season pumpkins during October/November, when there was generally a shortage.

In previous years she made between $800 and $2000 a tonne, but in 2014 she was only making returns of $400 or $500 for her best pumpkins.

Sometimes prices were as low as $200.

"We didn't even make our costs back," Ms Groves said.

"It's been very ordinary.

"The grower goes broke."

Ms Groves said she saw many pumpkins in supermarkets for around $3, when she only received 40 cents a kilo.

The costs for supermarkets were low, she added, and consumers needed to be aware that sometimes they payed more than they should.

"There's a huge disconnect between growers getting payed and what the consumer is paying," she said.

There was also an oversupply of fruit and vegetables, bringing producer prices down further.

"The better the growing season, the less market there is," Ms Groves said.

The situation has made Ms Groves rethink her farm's direction and she will not grow pumpkins again.

In fact, this year's production was supposed to help Ms Groves recover her avocado losses from hail storms last year.

Ms Groves story is one of many.

Goomeri Pumpkin Festival promotions and advertising officer Fay Stumm said grower numbers have been declining for many years.

Mrs Stumm recalled that she started to notice prices had dropped around three years ago.

"One of the fellows who always grows locally had given up (because prices were so low)," Mrs Stumm said.

However, Ms Groves is still hopeful for her avocado season.

She said there was a shortage of avocados in Northern Queensland, which should push prices up.

Gympie Times

Topics:  agriculture



Mum's rant on cost of school supplies goes viral

"24 whiteboard markers PER student...are you serious!?"

'It's a farce': Perrett slams minister again on TAFE building

Tony Perrett has again called on the State Government to access unused buildings at Gympie's education precinct for the University of the Sunshine Coast so they can expand their presents in Gympie.

Gympie MP claims students are leaving town or giving up dreams

Scammers strike more often than hackers: IT specialist

SCAM ALERT: Australia Post published this fake email on its website on January, 11, 2017, warning people its a scam and not to click or past the link into your internet browser. 'Delete the email immediately'.

"Everything locks up; then a ransom note comes up."

Local Partners

Bushfire threat continues months longer than expected

UNSEASONALLY hot and dry weather has firefighters on alert as dangerous bushfire conditions extend nearly two months longer than usual.


EXCLUSIVE: The Amity Affliction's overdue homecoming

BACK IN TOWN: THe Amity Affliction play the Gympie Civic Centre on Friday night.

After 10 years away from Gympie, the local legends are back.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

What's on in Gympie this weekend and next week for Australia Day?

Check out the Gig Guide for a couple of fun ideas for Australia Day, including a family friendly event at the Jockey Club Hotel.

All the action in Gympie for the Gig Guide this weekend.

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Nicole Kidman squirms through questions on Keith

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

'God, you guys are personal ... that’s for him to talk about'

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

Steve Carell pulls cruel prank on fans of the office

Steve Carrell decided to pull a cruel prank on fans of The Office

Lee Lin Chin's man-crazy, beer-loving side revealed

HAVE A BEER: Lee Lin Chin her tips and quips on life.

SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin offers up satirical tips and quips.

Gympie attracts buyers looking for affordable seachange

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 3.4% to $269,000 in the September quarter.

Median house price drops 3.4% to $269,000 in the September quarter

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!