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Research Stations


Horticultural Crops Research Station Castle Hayne

John Garner

Research Operations Manager


Station Information

Map w/ Directions (pdf)

Area Weather

On-Site Weather

Brochure (pdf)

Fact Sheet (pdf)

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3800 Castle Hayne Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429-6519
PHONE: (910) 675-2314 / 0242
FAX: (910) 675-0242

Blueberries grown on the Ideal Tract

Home of the world's #1 public blueberry breeding program!

The Horticultural Crops Research Station was established in 1947 and is located on a 60- acre tract on Highway 133, six miles north of Wilmington. An additional 50-acre tract on Holly Shelter Road is seven miles northeast of the main station.

Many N.C. State University scientists, including experts in horticulture, plant diseases and genetics conduct research at the Horticultural Crops Research Station at Castle Hayne. Maintaining the agricultural economy requires a great deal of information on efficient ways to produce fruits, vegetables and ornamentals.


Facilities include laboratories, offices, workshops, computerized greenhouses and environmental control chambers, two cold storage facilities, a computer room, equipment storage facilities and a new state of the art chemical storage and mixing room. Onsite weather gathering equipment has been collecting data for the National Weather Service (NWS) and the N.C. State Climate Office of North Carolina for more than 50 years. On August 27, 2002, the NWS honored the station for half-a-century of service. This station is one of sixteen NCDA&CS / NCSU Research Stations reporting weather data around the clock.

Community Partnerships

The public is always welcome to stop by the station and tours are offered to any person or groups who make advanced arrangements. Station research staff is always available to answer questions from the public and commercial growers concerning plant pathology, propagation, and cultural practices. We aid several commodity groups and organizations such as the North Carolina Blueberry Council and the North Carolina Wine & Grape Council. The North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers Conference is hosted at the station. We have cooperative research projects affiliated with the North Carolina Nurserymen’s Society. There is a state of the art chemical mixing facility on the premises that is used in training extension agents, students, and the general public. A plant identification course is available for Master Gardeners, plant professionals, the landscape industry, and the general public to educate for the North Carolina Certified Plantsman certification.

The station hosts periodic Commodity Field Days during the peak growing periods between April and September. Blueberry, muscadine grape, and strawberry field days for agriculture and farming professionals are conducted to highlight new plant varieties and the latest research developments. Tours of the station and blueberry farm are available and include local high school students, Master Gardeners, extension personnel, etc.

Local school groups tour the station to learn about current projects

NCDA&CS Research Stations Division, Kaleb Rathbone, Director
Mailing Address: 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1001
Physical Address:2 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3236   FAX: (919) 733-1754

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