And it was no marrow margin of victory for Knockrow grower Dale Oliver, whose giant 743kg pumpkin left envious fellow competitors trailing hundreds of kilograms behind at the local Summerland Pumpkin Competition, in Kyogle.

Dale also took second place with a 669kg whopper to complete a pair of smashing pumpkins, and won a clean sweep of the major honours with a 612kg squash.

“A lot of the elements were against everyone this season, but I had a good windbreak so I was right,” said Dale, who needed a ute, trailer and tractor to put his colossal exhibits on display. “It’s just a hobby – a silly one too. It was only in the last four years I really got serious about it,” he told the Northern Star.

Victorian giant vegetable expert Phillip McCauley ranked the pumpkins among the top 10 specimens ever grown in the world, and hailed growing conditions in the Northern Rivers region. “Both the day and night temperatures here are very good,” he enthused.

Dale set an Australasian pumpkin record of 575kg in 2013, and immediately surpassed that with a 619kg specimen.

He is hoping his latest record-breaking pumpkin will last until this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show, but has already fed the second-placed fruit to his cattle.