VIRGINIA

Virginia strawberries will hit market late, but will be extra sweet, says officials

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia agriculture officials say the state's strawberry crop is coming to market a little late, but it will be worth the wait.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says cooler weather at many farms delayed this year's strawberry crop by one to three weeks. But those conditions help boost the size and sugar levels of the fruit, likely making this year's Virginia grown strawberries extra sweet and juicy.

The department says peak strawberry season is about now in southeastern Virginia and mid- to late-May elsewhere in the state, where the weather is cooler.

The latest federal figures show Virginia has 263 strawberry farms with 252 harvested acres.

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