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Plant Supplier Sends Virus-infected Strawberry Plants to NC Growers

We heard the other day that North Carolina strawberry growers are having to frost protect their crop more this year than normal, but late-season cold isn’t the only battle some growers are fighting this year. NCDA area agronomist in the central Piedmont and western Coastal Plain region, Don Nicholson:

“We have some growers that got some plants that have a virus or even two viruses. The plants are very small but they are blooming, and the growers are doing everything they can to make a crop out of it. It may not be their best crop, but they are trying their best. Other growers that do not have that virus have beautiful plants, with 8-15 blooms already and they have frost protected.”

The good news is that this particular virus should be a one-and-done deal says Nicholson:

“My understanding is that it will not pose a threat to any future crops.”

The affected strawberry plants appear to have originated from one Canadian grower, and Nicholson explains hazards such as this is just part of the process:

“It’s a problem. Every time you bring in plant sources from other places, either here in NC or Canada, you run the risk of having some problems. But our growers are resilient and they will do what they have to do to make a crop and do the best they can.”

Out of the three primary varieties that North Carolina producers grow, according to Nicholson, the virus seems to be more prevalent on two:

“It seems to be more prevalent on the Camerosa and the Sweet Charlies. There is some on some Chandlers as well.”

NCDA Area Agronomist Don Nicholson. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.