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N.C. Leafy Greens

Did you know that “leafy greens” most often refers to vegetables in the cabbage family, like broccoli, cabbage, collards, radishes, turnips and even Brussels sprouts? The term also can refer to lettuce and spinach. Leafy greens are chief crops in North Carolina and are available during most of the year, with the exception of January and February, generally. Leafy greens are low in calories and sodium, free of fat and cholesterol, and aid in the prevention of cancer!

N.C. Winter Squash

Did you know there are two main types of squash? “Winter squash” are harvested and eaten when fully mature; “summer squash” are consumed when very young and tender. Common winter squash varieties include acorn, butternut, hubbard and spaghetti. North Carolina farmers produce more than $11 million of this vegetable on 3,000+ acres annually, ensuring that scrumptious N.C. squash is available throughout most of the year!

N.C. Pecans

North Carolina consistently ranks in the top 10 states in production of new and improved pecan varieties. North Carolina produces three to five million pounds of pecans annually. There are approximately 2,000 acres of pecans in North Carolina and most are managed as commercial orchards. The demand for N.C. pecans is increasing as consumers and major shellers realize the quality available from well-managed North Carolina orchards.

N.C. Pumpkins

North Carolina farmers devote nearly 4,000 acres to pumpkin production. Varieties grown in North Carolina include Mammoth Gold, Autumn Gold, Happy Jack, Big Max, Atlantic Giant, Prize Winner and Sugar Pie. A 1,257-pound pumpkin, grown in 2009, holds the state record for the largest pumpkin.

N.C. Farmers Markets

Every summer, more roadside stands and stalls at farmers markets spring up around North Carolina offering fresh, local produce. Did you know that North Carolina has more than 3,700 farmers selling directly to consumers, for a total of more than $29 million? Since 2008, the country has seen a 13 percent increase in farmers markets, with well over 5,000 markets operating today. Whether you’re an Extension agent, grower or a consumer that understands the importance of local agriculture, N.C. MarketReady’s Farmers Markets section has something to offer.

N.C. Strawberries: Ripe for the Picking

Nothing could be finer than to be in North Carolina during strawberry season. Did you know that North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in strawberry production? Strawberry sales generated more than $20 million in farm receipts in 2008. Read more for information on where to find strawberry operations in your area...

N.C. Fresh Produce

North Carolina is among the top 10 states in the country for production of 13 different crops. The state's fertile and diverse terrain, industry-leading resources and a rich tradition of agriculture keep North Carolina at the forefront of the industry. As a result, North Carolina is among the top 10 states in the country for production of sweet potatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peanuts, blueberries, cabbage, snap beans, tomatoes, apples, bell peppers, squash, watermelons and grapes. N.C. MarketReady provides resources on this site, such as the Growers Information Portals, to help N.C. farmers continue to grow their operations.

N.C. Apples

October is National Apple Month! North Carolina typically ranks seventh in apple production in the United States, with more than 300 commercial apple operations. The four major varieties, which make up the bulk of N.C.'s production, are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty and Galas. N.C. apple production areas, centered in the western part of the state, are within 24 freight hours of 65 percent of the U.S. population. More apple health facts, recipes and variety identification charts are available on the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and U.S. Apple Web sites.

North Carolina Corn

The value of the corn harvest in N.C. in 2006 was $288 million. This includes 700,000 acres harvested for grain and 45,000 acres harvested for silage. Corn production in the state for grain is concentrated in the coastal plain, and the average statewide yield is 132 bushels/acre. Silage is harvested mainly in the western half of the state and is more concentrated around dairy producing areas. The National Corn Growers Association provides additional resources.

North Carolina Blueberries

Blueberries are the top-ranked fruit crop in N.C. and they are the 16th ranked commodity overall for the state. A state record 28.5 million pounds of production yielded a value of roughly $50 million in 2008. That level of production places N.C. fifth nationwide for blueberries. Blueberries are a “superfruit” that possess a combination of exceptional antioxidant and nutrient qualities, which have led to an increase in demand recently. The National Blueberry Council provides additional resources.

North Carolina Strawberries

Strawberry season in North Carolina begins in April, and what better way to welcome the spring heat than with cool, fresh and nutritious locally grown strawberries. Did you know that N.C. ranks third in the U.S., with nearly 2,000 acres producing about 19 million pounds of strawberries each year? This delicious fruit accounts for roughly $18 million of annual farm income in N.C. Unlike other leading strawberry-producing states, almost all of the berries produced in North Carolina are sold for fresh market right here in the state - direct to consumers as Pick-Your-Own, at farm stands or to local supermarket chains. Visit the N.C. Strawberry Association to learn more.

North Carolina Eggs

Ranking 12th in egg production in the United States, North Carolina has over 8.5 million layers that produce over 6.5 million table eggs per day - that's more than 2.3 billion eggs each year. Eggs are North Carolina's 7th largest cash farm product. That’s a lot of potential Easter eggs! The North Carolina Egg Association represents egg producer members in the state of North Carolina. For more information, you can visit http://www.NCEgg.org.

Poultry Industry

The poultry industry is a leading contributor to North Carolina’s agricultural economy. Broilers rank as the top commodity for the state with an annual production value of $2.2 billion. Wilkes County leads the state with more than 91 million broilers on farms. Learn more at www.ncpoultry.org.

Sweet Potatoes

North Carolina is the number one producer of sweet potatoes in the United States. High in nutrition, the sweet potato is grown in 53 of the state's 100 counties, predominantly in the coastal plain region of North Carolina. More than $104 million, or 702 million pounds, of sweet potatoes are sold each year. For more information, visit http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com.