Horticultural Crops Research Station Castle Hayne
Research Operations Manager
|3800 Castle Hayne Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429-6519
PHONE: (910) 675-2314 / 0242
FAX: (910) 675-0242
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 plant pathology, tissue culture, and fruit quality laboratories, offices, workshops, computerized greenhouses, multiple cold storage facilities, outdoor lath and shade houses, equipment storage facilities and a new state of the art chemical storage and mixing room. The Station also houses a blueberry pack shed with sorting machines and two mechanical harvesters to support blueberries for pest, breeding, food safety, and agronomy research. 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.
The public is always welcome to stop by the station and tours are offered to any person or groups who make advance 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. 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.
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.