By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Picking pumpkins is a little pricier this year because of a difficult growing season in many parts of the country.

Average prices this month are up nearly 30% compared to October of last year, according to data from the USDA. And some varieties may be hard to find.

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Kimberly Vazquez, Alex Casiano, and their pup searched for the perfect pumpkin.

“We want it to be vibrant, medium size. Picture perfect, exactly,” Vazquez said.

At Elwood Pumpkin Farm on New York’s Long Island, they got the gourd and the photo.

But this year, the big picture for growers is complicated.

“Pumpkins, if you look at it the wrong way it might not happen,” said farmer Lee Itzler of Elwood Pumpkin Farm. Itzler has been growing pumpkins at the farm for a decade. He said rain from two massive storms came at the worst possible time. It stopped bees from pollinating pumpkin flowers, so many pumpkins just never grew, cutting into the season’s crop.

“The big ones take the longest,” Itzler said.

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In the Western states, drought forced farmers to scale back planting. Nash Ranch in California is trucking in pumpkins.

Owner Louis Nash said, “I had to order a lot of pumpkins to supplement our own crop. So, you have to go into it just knowing that you’re not going to make any money.”

More than four in 10 consumers plan to carve a pumpkin this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

But it’s not just the big jack-o’-lanterns that are impacted. It’s also been a challenging season for smaller pie pumpkins.

In Illinois, pumpkin blight surged due to heat and moisture, threatening to cause shortages of canned pumpkin for Thanksgiving pies.

Most people who want a pumpkin should be able to find one.

Customer Leslie Bonilla said, “It’s the fall. We wanted pumpkins to carve!”

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The selection could be slim and more expensive. Team