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Wyoming “Pumpkin King” Jay Richard Already Planting Pumpkin Seeds To Break State Record

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"Pumpkin-King" Jay Richard at the 2021 Wyoming Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Worland man is preparing to plant his giant pumpkin seeds this weekend in his attempt to break the Wyoming state record this year for the state’s biggest pumkin.

Jay Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that although there are many elements he will have to battle this year, he has three pumpkin seeds selected as prime choices to get him the elusive crown.

Richard explained that he names the seeds after the weight attained by the host pumpkins. As an example, the seeds from a 1,324 pound pumpkin would be called 1324s.

His ammo this year?

“A 1676 [seed] grown by Chad New in Colorado, a 2047 grown by Ross Bowman in Utah, and another from Andy Corbin in Cheyenne,” Richard said. “I have met each of the growers and just thought it was a cool idea to have different states represented Also, I hope to redeem myself after failing last year with the Corbin seed.”


Jay’s stash of champion pumpkin seeds

Corbin is a previous state record holder. Harold “France” Stinchcomb of Cheyenne is now the current record holder, raising a pumpkin in 2021 that weighed 1,544 pounds.

Richard had a disappointing end of the pumpkin season last fall after his 1,500-pound pumpkin, Maci, collapsed in on itself before he could get it entered into the state pumpkin weigh-off.

“It’s a lot like a race car driver on a 500-mile race coming around turn four, blowing a tire and hitting the wall,” Richard said last year.

However, he said he has confidence in “Maci 2,” the “little sister” to Maci from last year. The seed used for Maci 2 from Corbin has similar genetics to Maci, which also grew from a seed gifted to Richard from Corbin.

“She will get the coveted spot in the ‘competition’ patch,” Richard said.

The Pumpkin Drop

Richard grows three giant pumpkins per season, a routine he has had for years.

Although he didn’t have any contenders last year, he still put two of his three giant gourds to good use

While one split open a few weeks prior to the weigh-in and was fed to pigs, two others — Maci and Sally, a smaller pumpkin — were used in the annual pumpkin drop, which takes place after the pumpkin weigh-off in Worland. The drop, which attracted thousands, is where Richard hoists a number of non-prize winning, but still humongous 1,000-pound pumpkins using a sling attached to a 200-foot crane.

Once the pumpkin hits altitude, the sling is released and the pumpkin falls to its demise, exploding in glory.

There’s always a target involved. Last year, it was an old Isuzu.

The crowd, as could be expected, goes crazy. Especially the kids.



“Christmas-Time”

Jay’s unapologetic about it — this event is Christmas for him.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like pumpkins!!” Richard wrote on his dedicated pumpkin Facebook page promoting the preparation for the annual event.

“Check out that beautiful pile of nutrients! How about the awesome Kioti tractor from Tractor Guys making easy work of loading up the magic,” he said.



The One-Ton Club

Success doesn’t end with a state championship for Richard. He is chasing an even loftier ambition. He wants to be a member of the 1-ton club.

That’s when a pumpkin hits 2,000 pounds.

“That’s my life goal,” Richard said last year. “I think I’ll hit it in 2022. Watch me.”



Mundane For Now

For this year, he said he is excited it is no longer winter, but noted this time period of pumpkin growing is the most uneventful.

“The early growing is the most mundane, about the first three weeks not much happens, but hang on after that,” Richard said. “I’m hoping for a June 25 pollination.”

Richard joked that there was not much to worry about when growing pumpkins besides transplant shock, cold soil, bugs and mice, fungus and much, much more.

“It’s hard to use giant pumpkins and carefree in the same sentence,” he said.

Despite the laundry list of potential problems, Richard reminded anyone interested in growing giant pumpkins that at the end of the day, it’s just a plant.

“Do not get overwhelmed and just do what you can,” he said. “Do not worry about what anyone else is doing, take notes and again, have fun!”

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Cheyenne Man Smashes Wyoming State Giant Pumpkin Record

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Harold “France” Stinchcomb’s biggest pumpkin in 2020 weighed about 750 pounds. It was the largest he had ever grown.

This year, the two pumpkins he grew were double in size to his ones from last year, meaning that he had a new personal best.

Stinchcomb also managed to break the Wyoming state record for biggest pumpkin, growing a giant gourd weighing in at 1,544 pounds. His second largest pumpkin was 1,495 pounds.

“It feels awesome to break the record,” Stinchcomb told Cowboy State Daily on Friday. “I’ve been growing pumpkins for about 18 years, but they didn’t start getting big until the last six or seven years.”

While not at the Wyoming state weigh-off in Worland, Stinchcomb took his pumpkin down to Colorado recently for the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers competition. While there, he discovered his giant pumpkin was only heavy enough for second place in Colorado, but surpassed the Wyoming record.

The previous record was held by another Cheyenne man, Andy Corbin, whose pumpkin weighed 1,491 pounds. Stinchcomb said there is a possibility Corbin could take the record back, as he still has another pumpkin to harvest.

But for now, he’s the winner, and he’s basking in that glory.

Stinchcomb was hoping to just cross the thousand-pound mark with his pumpkins, and while he knew they were large and heavy this year, he did not ever expect to actually break the record.

“I just do it this for fun,” he said. “I carve them afterwards. My grandkids love it.”

This year’s pumpkin will soon be transformed into Murray, the mummy from the “Hotel Transylvania” film series. He has previously carved giant pumpkins to look like Leonardo from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise, Stewie from “Family Guy” and Mater from the “Cars” movies.

Like his friends Corbin and Worland resident Jay Richard, Stinchcomb is now preparing for growing more pumpkins next year. He hopes to again break his own personal record, and maybe break another state one in the process.

And also like Richard, he encouraged anyone interested in growing a giant pumpkin to definitely try it out.

“Don’t be afraid to go for it,” he said.

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Exploding 1,000-Pound Pumpkins & State Records Broken at Wyoming State Pumpkin Championship

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Although the atmosphere was festive throughout, it wasn’t until the promise of exploding thousand-pound pumpkins that the spirits turned raucous.

And with that, the crowd size grew going from a couple hundred at the beginning of the day to more than a thousand by the time the pumpkins met their spectacular demise.

It was kind of a cross between a massive tailgating party and a parade for what Jay Richard, the organizer of the Wyoming State Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off and Pumpkin Drop, called the “stupidest event of all time which makes it awesome.”

Judging by the reaction of the kids alone, it was awesome.

The opening event was fun enough. 

Giant fruits and vegetables — many of which could only be lifted by industrial-strength forklifts — being weighed on industrial strength scales to determine if any were heavy enough to break state records.

There were two record breakers, in fact.

The Cowboy Skill scale — named after the event’s presenting sponsor — recorded Wyoming’s heaviest watermelon and Montana’s heaviest pumpkin.

The watermelon, grown by Worland’s Dawson Utterback came in at 40 pounds and Jason McGimpsey grew a 1,200 pound pumpkin which bested Montana’s old record by 32 pounds.

Because Mr. McGimpsey is from Billings and Montana does not have an official pumpkin-weigh-off event, he entered in the Wyoming event which is a member of the the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth — the sanctioning body which oversees these events.

Wyoming’s state record — set in 2019 by Cheyenne’s Andy Corbin with a pumpkin of 1,491 pounds — stayed intact.

It wasn’t expected to. Richard was growing a monster.

Macy (he names all of his pumpkins) topped 1,500 pounds a month ago. Last week, she was nearing 1,600 pounds. 

The colossal gourd was a lock. All he had to do was keep Macy together.

Any injury to the pumpkin’s core, Richard explained, would disqualify the pumpkin.

But on Thursday afternoon, only two days before the official event, disaster struck. Richard discovered a mouse had burrowed into the pumpkin’s core.

“It’s a lot like a race car driver on a 500-mile race coming around turn four, blowing a tire and hitting the wall,” Richard told Cowboy State Daily.

So what was Richard to do?

Send her off with a bang. Literally.

Macy was the first of four thousand-pound-plus pumpkins to be lifted by a 200-foot crane and dropped in the field adjacent to the truck repair shop.

Putting Macy in the sling got messy. The 82 degree heat was weakening Macy’s already weakened exterior.

She started collapsing on herself. 

Then a much larger hole opened up and she started belching out gallons of yellow liquid.

“The is hilarious,” one of Richard’s colleagues laughed.

Richard had no time recognize the humor.

With all the urgency of a Scottie to Captain Kirk conversation, Richard yelled, “We gotta get her up in the crane now. I can’t hold her any longer. She’s falling apart.”

They slapped the sling to the crane and she she began elevating.

She didn’t make the full trip. About halfway up, chunks started falling and Richard pulled the plug. Macy was airborne.

With a thud, his would-be champion was no more. She exploded on the target: a snowmobile mounted on an Isuzu Trooper.

Richard explained that he hates winter so a snowmobile was a perfect target, he said.

The three other pumpkin drops were much like the first — outside of the belching liquid.

The kids cheered. The adults laughed. And the snowmobile and Isuzu got demolished.

After the last pumpkin dropped causing the front tires of the Isuzu to blow-out, the safety tape was let down and the kids ran out to grab pieces of pumpkin like an Easter egg hunt.

One child was disappointed when he was told he could not take the football-sized chunk of orange goo home with him.

“What would you do with it,” the child’s mother asked him.

“I don’t know. Put it in my room,” he said.

The mom won.

Richard thinks he’ll eventually win too. 

He’s already planning for next year and might have a greenhouse (mouse-proof) big enough to grow a champion for the 2022 season.

Long term, he wants to join the one-ton club. That’s an exclusive group of growers who have successfully birthed a 2,000 pound pumpkin.

“Might take me awhile but who knows? That’s my goal eventually,” Richard said.

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Oh No! Giant 1,500-Pound Wyoming Pumpkin Implodes; Will Be Dropped From 200-Foot Crane on Saturday

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Jay Richard, the Worland man whose giant pumpkin-growing process Cowboy State Daily has been following for weeks, will not be breaking the state record for the largest pumpkin in Wyoming this year.

On Thursday night, Richard’s largest pumpkin, Maci, essentially collapsed in on itself. While Richard will still be able to weigh the pumpkin during the annual weigh-off on Saturday in Worland, he will not be able to compete for the state record.

“She went down today, she sprung a leak,” Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday night. “I wondered when she quit growing a while back and it was right in the place I was concerned with.”

However, he will still get to drop Maci and other thousand-pound pumpkins from a 200-foot crane, a worthy demise for a giant gourd. The weigh-off and drop event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Diesel Pickup Specialists, 1051 N. 10th St., in Worland.

Richard was definitely disappointed to lose the pumpkin after coming so far with it, but he said it was all ultimately a learning opportunity for him to grow bigger and better pumpkins next year.

“If I am not willing to accept when I fail I am not worthy of enjoying success,” Richard said. “She will contain many excellent seeds…and is full of awesome genetics.”

(Story continues after photo gallery)



Richard will spend Saturday sharing his knowledge, experience and pumpkin seeds with other attendees of the pumpkin weigh-off and drop, but Sunday will mean the beginning of the 2022 growing season.

“I’m staring on Sunday with soil prep and testing, because I’ve been planning on taking it to the next level for a while. God willing, next year will be my best effort,” he said.

One point Richard tried to remember, despite his disappointment, is that small pumpkins never have issues like this, meaning he is on another level of pumpkin growing.

“My goal when I started trying to get them big was to be in the top 10 in the state. Mission accomplished,” he said. “Of course I have new goals now!”

Richard even showed off a design for a greenhouse he plans to build that will house two giant pumpkins, complete with heat, electricity and water on tap. This way, he can ensure the pumpkins will be safe from inclement weather and frigid temperatures in Worland.

This was the second of the three pumpkins Richards has lost. A smaller pumpkin, Patty, was lost earlier in the month when it split due to its excessive growth.

Sally, Richard’s remaining pumpkin, took home fourth place for heaviest pumpkin at the Utah weigh-off last weekend.


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Pumpkin Watch 2021: Worland Man With 1,500-Pound Pumpkin Prepares For Wyoming Championship This Weekend

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

It is the final week of pumpkin watch 2021, and Worland resident Jay Richard is preparing to take his largest pumpkin off the vine that it is barely clinging to.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for Richard, who headed out to Pleasant View City, Utah, on Friday to compete in the annual Utah pumpkin weigh-off. He took Sally, the smaller of his two remaining pumpkins, which weighed in at 1,156 pounds to earn fourth place.

“I left Friday afternoon and got back Saturday night at 1:30 a.m.,” Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “I was happy with how Sally did, but I feel like I messed up by not putting more into that plant.”

Richard admitted he neglected Sally somewhat during the growing process, as Maci, his largest pumpkin, has been the focus of his attention. He felt there was much more potential in Sally for growth, pointing out the pumpkin’s well-rounded shape that would make it better for growing without potentially splitting.

Earlier this month, Richard’s other smaller pumpkin, Patty, did split due to the pumpkin’s excessive and fast growth.

Now, the plan is just to keep Maci alive until the annual Wyoming weigh-off on Saturday in Worland. Due to a compromise with the gourd’s vine, Maci is no longer growing much, if at all.

“Maci can no longer transfer nutrients through the main vine leading to the pumpkin,” Richard said. “The smaller vine is intact and can feed her back a little bit. She might be still adding a little weight, I hope.”

While his tape measure indicates that Maci weighs more, Richard guessed that the pumpkin would ultimately weigh about 1,507 pounds once it gets on the scale on Saturday. If he is correct, it would just barely break the state record for the heaviest pumpkin, currently held by Cheyenne resident Andy Corbin’s 1,491-pound pumpkin from 2020.

“Without a doubt, the most important thing I’ve learned this year is how to position the pumpkin,” Richard said. “This is the next level in size for me, and I now understand I can’t get away with some of the questionable things that I have with the smaller pumpkins.”

He did worry that a dip in the pumpkin would cause the gourd to ultimately weigh less than he is estimating. However, Richard did note that Maci’s “father” (a strain of pumpkin whose genes were used to create Maci’s seed) had a similar dip at the Utah weigh-off, and weighed in at more than 2,000 pounds.

“The scale doesn’t lie. The tape measurer does,” he said.

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Pumpkin Watch 2021: Worland Man’s Biggest Pumpkin Nearing 1,600 Pounds

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Worland man growing giant pumpkins is preparing for the official weigh-off in the contest to determine the state’s biggest pumpkin in less than two weeks, and his largest gourd is estimated to weigh nearly 1,600 pounds.

Jay Richard told Cowboy State Daily this week that his largest pumpkin, Maci, weighs about 1,570 pounds. If he is correct, Maci will officially break the record of the state’s largest pumpkin.

This is a gain of about 25 pounds from the week prior, a significant slowdown from the hundreds of pounds the pumpkins would gain each week during the summer. Richard noted that the slowdown is due to cooler temperatures in Worland, where it can get down into the mid-20s at night.

“I had plastic and blankets covering as much as I could [of the pumpkins at night],” Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Monday. “So far, so good.”

Currently, Andy Corbin of Cheyenne holds the title for Wyoming’s heaviest pumpkin, weighing in at 1,491 pounds to take the 2020 title.

Richard previously explained that Maci’s genetics come from two pumpkins that set records in the states of Alaska and Wyoming. Corbin actually crossed the two genetic lines and gifted Richard with a seed.

His other pumpkin, Sally, is estimated to weigh about 1,225 pounds. Richard will harvest Sally on Thursday and then head to Utah for that state’s weigh-off.

“My friend who owns Tractor Guys here in Worland will bring a machine out to lift them for me,” Richard said. “My utility tractor will not even budge them.”

He got nostalgic for a moment, looking at a photo of one of his pumpkins from his early days of growing the gourds. At that time, growing a 600-pound pumpkin was the dream.

“I thought that was amazing, and truthfully it was,” he said. “But now I’m planning for next year. Bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger!”

He doesn’t have a weight goal for next year’s pumpkins, but said he knows he could have gotten several hundred more pounds out of Maci the pumpkin.

“I will definitely say I left a lot in the patch with this plant and I know there is more in the genetics than I got out of her,” he said.

Two weeks ago, one of Richard’s three pumpkins, Patty, split open due to its extensive growth.

“And then there were two,” Richard said after Patty’s demise. “Patty is doomed, she goes to the pigs [Tuesday]. I tried but she is toast.”

“That’s all folks,” Richard said after disposing the pumpkin. “She was pumpkin soup today. Really sad, the wall thickness was amazing, even where she split. Even with this much gone, my tractor ( 900lb capacity) couldn’t lift it any higher than this. She was heavy!”

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Worland Man’s Giant Pumpkin Crosses 1,500 Pound Mark; Should Break State Record

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Worland man growing giant pumpkins in hopes of winning glory and a state record has a gourd that weighs more than 1,500 pounds, he believes.

Jay Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that Maci, his heaviest pumpkin, is measuring about 1,554 pounds and Sally, his lighter one, is estimated at around 1,178 pounds.

“Growth has slowed way down and the plants are getting tired, but they’re still adding a few pounds,” Richard said. “I know Sally will be lighter than the tape says, because of the sound she makes when I ‘thunk’ her.”

Richard explained that Maci’s genetics come from two pumpkins that set records in the states of Alaska and Wyoming.

Andy Corbin of Cheyenne, who currently holds the title for Wyoming’s heaviest pumpkin at 1,491 pounds, crossed the two genetic lines last year and gave Richard a seed.

If Richard’s current estimates are correct, Maci the pumpkin wouldn’t have to grow any further to break the state record, but he’s hoping to keep it on the vine as long as possible until the official pumpkin weigh-off on Oct. 2 in Worland.

“I hope she doesn’t disappoint,” he said.

The slowdown in the growth of Maci and Sally is due to cooler temperatures in Worland, as nights can get down to 38 degrees sometimes, Richard said. He added he will likely harvest Sally from the vine in about 10 days.

“We have had some good heat lately and clear skies. Hoping they’ll add a bit more weight,” Richard said.

Last week, one of Richard’s three pumpkins, Patty, split open due to its extensive growth.

“And then there were two,” Richard said after Patty’s demise. “Patty is doomed, she goes to the pigs [Tuesday]. I tried but she is toast.”

“That’s all folks,” Richard said after disposing the pumpkin. “She was pumpkin soup today. Really sad, the wall thickness was amazing, even where she split. Even with this much gone, my tractor ( 900lb capacity) couldn’t lift it any higher than this. She was heavy!”

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Oh No! Worland Giant Pumpkin Splits Open; Huge 1,500-Pounder Could Still Break State Record Though

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Worland man growing three giant pumpkins in hopes of breaking the state record has had a tough week with the gigantic gourds, he told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.

Patty, one of Jay Richard’s smaller pumpkins, split open on Friday (pictured), but managing to weigh in at around 1,100 pounds before doing so.

“And then there were two,” Richard said. “Patty is doomed, she goes to the pigs [Tuesday]. I tried but she is toast.”

“That’s all folks,” Richard said after disposing the pumpkin. “She was pumpkin soup today. Really sad, the wall thickness was amazing, even where she split. Even with this much gone, my tractor ( 900lb capacity) couldn’t lift it any higher than this. She was heavy!”



Richard attempted to preserve the pumpkin to use it at the annual pumpkin weigh-off and drop in Worland on Oct. 2, but due to the warm days, there was just no way that keeping rotting fruit for a month was going to be a good idea.

According to the University of Wyoming extension office (which has information on how to grow giant pumpkins), large pumpkins may split or crack due to growing at such a fast rate.

Maci, the largest of the three pumpkins (and Richard’s hope for breaking the current state record), is also still looking good, despite Richard finding a soft spot on the gourd about two weeks ago.

“The big one is still ok, but the vine has about had enough,” Richard said. “As long as nothing weird happens, she should make it. She is estimating over 1,500 pounds but the growth had almost stopped, due to the colder weather. It’s supposed to warm up when but the 40 degree mornings have really set her back. I’m more concerned on keeping her alive than pushing for every pound now.”

Maci’s growth is about 40 pounds heavier than when Cowboy State Daily checked in with Richard on Sept. 1, where it was estimated to weigh around 1,468 pounds.

The current state record, held by a Cheyenne man, is 1,491 pounds. If Maci really does weigh what Richard says she does, then he will break the record next month.

Sally, the last of Richard’s three pumpkins, is also still growing, but at a slower rate.

“If I can keep Sally going I’m going to drop her,” he said. “She is now estimating over 1,100 pounds as well.”

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Worland Man’s Giant Pumpkin Nearing 1,500 Pounds, Could Be New State Record

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Worland resident Jay Richard’s giant pumpkin “Maci” is nearing the 1,500-pound mark after putting on nearly 200 pounds since he spoke with Cowboy State Daily a week ago.

Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that his largest pumpkin currently weighs 1,468 pounds, just 23 pounds lighter than the pumpkin currently holding the record as Wyoming’s largest, which was grown by a Cheyenne man and weighed in at 1,491 pounds.

“It’s holding steady at gaining 13 pounds per day,” Richard said. “The vine is a mess but is holding up so far.”

This is the vine attaching the top of the pumpkin to the ground, not unlike a (giant) baby’s umbilical cord.

This growth has slowed somewhat, with last week’s growth averaging around 25 pounds per day.

“The other two, Patty and Sally, are measuring over 1,000 pounds but have slowed quite a bit,” Richard said.

Richard found a soft spot near the vine late last week, which could have spelled disaster and the end of his giant gourd, but with some quick thinking, he managed to clean and treat the slimy spot and will keep a fan running on it 24 hours a day until the end of the month.

The official weigh-off to name a new champion pumpkin will take place in Worland on Oct. 2, and Richard’s goal is to win the title for the heaviest pumpkin in the state. But, he has to keep Maci on the vine until at least the end of the month in order for it to be as big as possible.

Following the weigh-in, there will be a giant pumpkin drop. Last year, the pumpkins were aimed at a large inflatable ball painted to look like a coronavirus germ.

People are take pieces of the shattered pumpkins after the drop. The giant pumpkins are perfectly fine to eat, although Richard previously told Cowboy State Daily they might be relatively flavorless.

For the last few years, Richard has been growing pumpkins from Atlantic giant pumpkin seeds, which can produce pumpkins ranging in size from a few hundred pounds to nearly 1,500.

He grows three giant pumpkins every year, planting them around mid-April and taking them off the vine in late September.

This year has been particularly good for his pumpkin crop, with the heat being the best weather element for his gigantic squashes. The warm days will be key for his pumpkins to get as large as possible before the weigh-in in October.

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Worland Man’s Pumpkin Now 1,300 Pounds; Aiming For State Record

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Jay Richard of Worland spent part of Sunday measuring pumpkins.

And while it may seem like an unusual way to spend the day, it certainly was productive — his largest weighed in at approximately 1,304 pounds — almost twice the weight of last year’s largest pumpkin at 713 pounds.

“I started involving science this year and frequent testing of the soil, plus I’m following different fertilizer recommendations,” Richard told Cowboy State Daily on Monday. “This is what the tape measurer says so far, but the tape measurer can lie. The scale doesn’t lie.”

For the last few years, Richard has been growing pumpkins from Atlantic giant pumpkin seeds, which can produce pumpkins ranging in size from a few hundred pounds to nearly 1,500 pounds.

Currently, he is outpacing his own largest pumpkins and in his effort to take the record for Wyoming’s largest pumpkin.

The record is currently held by a grower in Cheyenne who offered up a pumpkin weighing 1,491 pounds.

Richard grows three giant pumpkins every year, planting them around mid-April and taking them off the vine in late September, just in time for the annual giant pumpkin weigh-in in Worland, which will be held Oct. 2 this year.

Two of the pumpkins are explicitly grown to be “show pumpkins,” while the other is intended to be dropped.

Following the weigh-in, there will be a giant pumpkin drop. Last year, the pumpkins were aimed at a large inflatable ball painted to look like a coronavirus germ.

People are allowed to take pieces of the shattered pumpkins after the drop. The giant pumpkins are perfectly fine to eat, although Richard previously told Cowboy State Daily they might be relatively flavorless.

While Richard is gunning for the state record this year, he isn’t necessarily in competition with his fellow growers. Instead, he’s constantly pushing himself to grow a bigger and better pumpkin every year.

This year has been particularly good for his pumpkin crop, with the heat being the best weather element for his gigantic squashes. The warm days will be key for his pumpkins to get as large as possible before the weigh-in in October.

His largest pumpkin is growing at a rate of around 25 pounds per day, Richard said.

“Last year, I kept saying if I had planted two weeks earlier, I’d have been perfect,” he said. “This year, I basically jumped through the window of opportunity and planted April 10 and I’ve just had a really good year with these pumpkins, no bad weather besides a little hail early on.”

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