John Leadbeatter will enter his almost 600kg pumpkin into the Lismore competition on January 20. From left: John Leadbeatter and his granddaughter Serena Allen.
John Leadbeatter will enter his almost 600kg pumpkin into the Lismore competition on January 20. From left: John Leadbeatter and his granddaughter Serena Allen. Samantha Poate

Smashing pumpkin has potential to break a record

AN Australian record could be broken at this year's battle of the giant pumpkins in Lismore.

Kyogle man, John Leadbeatter is hoping to enter his enormous pumpkin in the Summerland Giant Pumpkin Growers Competition on January 20 - if it lasts that long.

The current record of 743kg is held by Knockrow farmer Dale Oliver.

Mr Leadbeatter said he guesses his pumpkin would currently weigh just under 600kg, and is still growing.

He has been growing giant pumpkins to enter into competitions for the last five or six years.

In that time he has won two competitions in Kyogle, but said he has never grown a pumpkin this big before.

His main concern is the weather will create poor conditions for the pumpkin to grow and instead it will begin to perish, therefore preventing him from entering the enormous vegetable into the competition.

"(This) pumpkin was pollinated 63 days ago," Mr Leadbeatter said.

"It's at a stage where it may have finished growing, it has got a soft spot."

Mr Leadbeatter said he loves the challenge and pleasure that comes from growing such enormous vegetables.

"You got to put a lot of hard effort in and work in to get a big pumpkin," he said.

The Summerland Giant Pumpkin Growers Competition will be held at the Lismore Showground alongside the watermelons on January 20.

They will be running the guess the weight competition again this year at Farmer Charlies.

Anyone can enter on January 16 for the chance to win $1000 prize money.