When will giant pumpkins break the 3000 lb barrier?
As we transition into the 2018 weigh-off season, New Hampshire giant pumpkin grower Steve Geddes has already set the North American record at an eye-popping 2528 lbs. Top weights routinely landing north of the one-ton mark stir the imagination to contemplate what the ceiling in this hobby may be. With each 500 lb milestone surpassed, our collective attention is turned towards the next barrier. Having crossed the 2500 lb threshold back in 2016, the 3000 lb mark has been the subject of speculation for two years. Will 2018 be the year? Not if statistics have their way. I have been graphing top pumpkin weight and top ten GPC pumpkin weights since 2006 (as far back as I have data for, if you, dear reader, has info prior to 2006, please reach out). Our historical data shows that the 2022 season is the most likely time frame to achieve the 3000 lb milestone. Both of the data sets predicting this outcome have a remarkable linear consistency. For data nerds, r-squared values for the linear fits are >0.95 (see chart below). That's an incredibly tight fit, suggesting this data has strong predictive power. Have a look at the chart below to see for yourself. The blue line represents the top weight official GPC pumpkin for each year since 2006. The green line represents to top ten average official GPC pumpkins for each year since 2006. If you reference "2018" on the x-axis, you'll see that the data predict a top ten average of 2300 lbs and a top weight of 2668. Interestingly, Steve's 2528 lb NA record comes within 5% of the predicted top weight. And many of the biggest weigh offs are yet to occur. Last comment, it is interesting to note the difference in slop of the green and blue lines. This comparison tells us that the top weight pumpkin threshold is pushing higher faster than the top ten average threshold. The best of the best are better? Perhaps one could draw that conclusion if the top weight winner was the same 2-3 individuals each year. But that's not what we see. Top weight winners span the globe. Regardless, there are some really interesting insights to be taken away from this data compilation and it will be fascinating to see how the 2018 season influences the data set going forward. Enjoy!