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North Carolina is the fourth-largest strawberry-producing state in the nation.

Weather is the main factor in determining the maturity of a strawberry crop and the length of the season, said Robin Watson, a regional agronomist at the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Along with Barry’s, many of the more than 150 strawberry farms across the state expect to open as early as next week. That’s anywhere from a week to 10 days sooner than expected.

On Wednesday, farm workers picked 25 buckets of strawberries at the farm, which were then sorted into quarts or flats for sale. Other customers went into the fields to pick their own. At the peak of the season, farm employees can bring in as many as 100 buckets a day, in addition to what customers pick.

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