- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia’s strawberry growers are optimistic about this season, despite weather that had many worried earlier this year.

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a statement Thursday that spring has ushered in a bumper crop of strawberries and growers expect this will be a strong season.

Department Commissioner Sandy Adams says strawberry season generates about $9 million in sales revenue each year for Virginia growers.

Strawberry season is relatively brief and the peak can vary from region to region.

An early warm up this winter followed by a refreeze had some growers worried about their crops.

Farmers used a variety of efforts to prevent frost damage, including plastic blankets, row covers and spraying the plants with water, which provides a protective barrier.

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