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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2008

CONTACT: Kevin Hardison, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
(919) 733-7136, ext. 234

Get ready for North Carolina’s strawberry season;
berries starting to hit the market

RALEIGH – Strawberry lovers can start getting the shortcake ready. North Carolina strawberries are beginning to arrive in local markets and the season is set to gear up in earnest by mid- to-late April.

“Strawberries are looking to be about a week earlier than normal thanks in part to several warm stretches of weather,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Growers in southeastern North Carolina have already been picking a few berries, but more and more growers will have berries in the coming weeks.”

Strawberries are expected the week of April 14 in the coastal areas, the week of April 21 in the central portion of the state and the week of April 28 in western counties. North Carolina’s strawberry season typically runs through May.

Growers are reporting good pollination in the fields and are anticipating a good crop this season, said Kevin Hardison, marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. That means shoppers should be able to find plenty of berries this season in grocery stores, roadside stands, farmers markets and pick-your-own fields.

To help consumers, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is again publishing a directory of pick-your-own farms across the state. It can be found online at www.ncfarmfresh.com, or consumers can contact Hardison at (919) 733-7136, ext. 234, to have a copy mailed. In stores, shoppers can look for the Got to Be NC and Goodness Grows in North Carolina logos to identify North Carolina berries and other locally grown commodities.

In celebration of the red berry, a number of special events and festivals are planned for April and May. Following is a list of events:

North Carolina ranks third in the nation in strawberry production, and berry sales generated $19.4 million in farm receipts in 2006.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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