Karl Haist has gone where no pumpkin farmer in New York State has gone before.
Haist, of Clarence Center, set a state record by growing the first 2,000-pound pumpkin in state history as he won his third title in four years at Sunday's World Pumpkin Weigh-Off at the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence.
His winning pumpkin, which weighed 2,027 pounds, earned him the first prize of $2,500, but also a separate $1,000 bonus for surpassing the 2,000-pound mark.
The previous state record had been 1,971.5 pounds, set at last year's World Pumpkin Weigh-Off by Andy Wolf of Little Valley. Wolf finished third in this year's field at 1,624.5 pounds, earning him $1,000.
Haist also won the weigh-off in 2015 and 2016 before finishing second last year (at 1,789 pounds).
In 2016, Haist told The News that he attributed his success to a spring soil test, pumpkin tissue tests, fertilizing with chicken manure, liquid nutrients and a lot of watering.
The runner-up in this year's competition, which featured 14 entries, was Jim Hazeltine of Delevan (1,849 pounds), who earned a $1,500 prize.
According to the Guinness World Records, the record for the heaviest pumpkin in the world is 2,624.6 pounds, grown by Belgium's Mathias Willemijns in 2016.
The record for the heaviest pumpkin in North America is 2,528 pounds, set last week at the Deerfield (New Hampshire) Fair by Steve Geddes of Boscawen, N.H., who won $6,000 in prize money, according to The Boston Globe.