Strawberry season coming early

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RAMSEUR, N.C. -- Strawberry season is coming to the Piedmont about two weeks early.

Strawberry farmer Michael Beal said Kildee Farms in Ramseur already has berries that are becoming red and ripe.

Beal said this is the earliest season he has seen in his 10 years in the strawberry business. Even with the early bloom, he said his crop is looking good.

Beal said strawberry farmers statewide are seeing an earlier bloom because of warmer weather. North Carolina is third in the country in the strawberry industry.

“Since it’s been a warmer winter we've got our cover times in half,” Beal said. “Typically we run covers for 2 and a half to three months. This year they were on Three to three and a half weeks.”

He said his biggest fear is having a shorter picking season, which would result in smaller production.

Beal said people usually associate strawberries with Mother’s Day. But he said this year it’s looking more like Easter.

Beal said farmers hope to get about a pound of strawberries from each plant – right now they’re in good shape for that, he said.

Click here for more information on strawberry farms in North Carolina.

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