NC strawberry crop predicted to drop due to virus

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 8, 2013

RALEIGH (AP) — One expert is predicting a smaller strawberry crop in North Carolina this year, thanks to a pair of viruses from Canada.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Barclay Poling estimates there will be 4 percent fewer strawberries coming out of the state this year. That means North Carolina will produce about 27.6 million berries instead of 28.8 million.
Several North Carolina strawberry farmers ended up with virus-infected plants from two nurseries in Nova Scotia. The viruses stunt the plants’ growth and reduce the number of berries they produce.
Barclay Poling estimates that 12 percent of the state’s 1,600 acres in strawberry production will be affected.
Poling says strawberries from the infected plants are safe to eat.