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Identifying the Best Giant Pumpkin Seed: A Statistical Approach

Photo: 2109 Zywiec, grown from the 1781 Zywiec, one of the highest average progeny weight seeds ever. 

Choosing the right giant pumpkin seed just might be the most fun and crucial decision involved in the competitive giant pumpkin hobby.  Giant pumpkin enthusiasts will spend hours and hours involved in the seed genetics selection process during the off season.  What better way to pass the long, cold days of winter than optimizing your giant pumpkin seed lineup? The trouble is, historically we've had to rely on gut-feeling and intuition to help guide top-end genetic upside.  The SCGA is helping change this process by publishing work that aims to apply quantifiable, statistical analysis to seed genetics.  By exploring historical giant pumpkin weights from the entire spectrum of top-end seeds, we can begin applying a mathematical approach to giant pumpkin seed genetic potential.  Unsurprisingly, initial data analysis suggests that the largest pumpkins, generally speaking, come from the largest pumpkin parents.  Intuitively, we may have known this all along, but it sure is nice to have it substantiated by some legit data.  In fact, there appears to be a direct correlation between the largest pumpkins of all time producing seeds that ultimately produce the largest average pumpkin weights. Data supporting this narrative bodes well for the hobby, as we continue to watch top weights climb every year, reinforcing the practice of continually cultivating seeds from the very largest pumpkins in the hobby.  

Existing SCGA members can follow this linkto read a 5-page comprehensive overview of the data analysis applied to identifying the best giant pumpkin seed genetics in the hobby.  If you are not a member of the SCGA, sign up here to gain access to this article as well as our library of original, deep-dive giant pumpkin articles and the entire collection of SCGA giant pumpkin newsletters.  Enjoy!

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