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Heavy rain slows fall harvest

CLIMAX, N.C. -- While the Piedmont has avoided the devastating eastern North Carolina floods, Hurricane Matthew is still proving to be a problem for Piedmont growers. Faylene Whitaker is co-owner of Whitaker Farms in Climax. Workers on her farm are busy taking the small pumpkins off of the vine.

"We had a really good growing season for the pumpkins. Now we are getting them on the plastic so they won’t rot due to the ground being so wet from all of the rain,” Whitaker said.

Plus the small pumpkins are proving to be easier for Whitaker Farm's youngest visitors to handle. Heather Habeeb is a mother of a kindergarten student.

"We are going to go home and decorate it -- so it’s perfect for his size,” Habeeb said.

If you want something bigger, teams spent all day Thursday and Friday getting the large carving pumpkins out of the field and storing them in a greenhouse. That was a good decision because Hurricane Matthew dropped four inches of rain on the Randolph County farm.

With the pumpkins taken care of, Whitaker says crews are now working fast to harvest the organically grown tobacco from the soggy fields.

"I don’t think it will hurt but it will start deteriorating if we can’t get to it out of the fields. So now we need the dry sun,” Whitaker said.

This Saturday, Whitaker Farms is celebrating what they are calling one of their best pumpkin crops. The fall festival will happen on the family farm from from 11 am to 5 pm.