By Max McGee

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Navigating the supply chain crisis in 2021 can almost seem like a maze, ending up right where you started.

A month into Autumn and the pumpkin prices have yet to “fall” thanks to a shortage nationwide. At Valley View, they have it all from orange, white smash and blue doll to giant. Still, the market is different from years past.

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Scott Carbone works at Valley View Farms.

“It’s about the fuel costs and freight for us if we were going to go get them. That’s been driving the price up for the most part for us,” he said. “Freight and then labor shortages.”

Weather on the West Coast is making an impact. Many companies buy from California because of the climate but the drought is forcing a lower supply for pumpkins, which drives up the transportation cost for customers.

Lawnstarter said out of nearly 200 Best U.S. cities for Pumpkin Lovers, Baltimore is 14th on the list.

Chris Lugat is from Reisterstown. Valley View was actually her first job when she was 15-years-old decades ago.

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“I carve and that’s why it’s important to get one with a very good stem so you can open it up to light the candle,” she told WJZ.

In order for Baltimoreans to carve, it’s putting extra strain on local farms.

Carbons add more.

“We’ve been paying more for that and just shortages in help. We’re not getting enough help. We’re just working harder, working faster and just pulling people from different areas,” he said.

The USDA says prices are up to seven percent higher. With millions of Americans buying combined with heavy rains like Monday in Baltimore, the work is carved out for the industry for the next few weeks.

Tuesday was National Pumpkin Day. About four in 10 consumers plan to carve a pumpkin in 2021.

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