North Carolina is engaged in the production of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants which are made available to consumers worldwide. Farm cash receipts for horticulture in North Carolina for the year 2016 totaled more than $1.4 billion (North Carolina Agricultural Statistics, 2017).
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries account for $647 million with Nursery, Christmas Trees, and other crops making up $817 million. North Carolina is the largest sweet potato grower nationally accounting for 54% of the U.S. crop. Also North Carolina is the third largest producer of fresh market strawberries nationally.
North Carolina fruit and vegetable production includes a diverse portfolio of crops including pumpkins, apples, squash, blueberry, grapes, peaches, strawberry, bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, sweet corn, and tomatoes. These and the many other horticultural crops and the industry in general face many economic challenges including costs of production, marketing, risk management and labor issues.