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Strawberry growers expect crop to ripen early

PITTSBORO (AP) — North Carolina strawberry growers expect their 2012 crop to ripen early and be abundant at most of the 200 farms statewide.
Debby Wechsler of the North Carolina Strawberry Association says that, based on the blooms and green berries appearing in the fields, a majority of growers will have strawberries ready 10 days to two weeks earlier than usual. Wechsler says the early crop is due to a mild winter impacted by La Nina.
Regional agronomist David Dycus of the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services says the strawberry season will open with a bang and will result in a heavy crop. Dycus says it’s a similar scenario for other North Carolina crops growing right now, particularly wheat and peaches.

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