Experimental high tunnels a few miles from Salisbury will change the way North Carolina farms, predicted the state’s top agriculture official.

Steve Troxler, N.C. agriculture commissioner, spent Tuesday at the Piedmont Research Station, talking to farmers and tasting strawberries grown under plastic-covered, 150-foot long tunnels.

Tunnels have increased the strawberry growing season from eight weeks to six months, nearly tripling the number of berries harvested from one plant. Patterson Farm could become the first commercial grower to test the tunnels next year.

More than 80 officials, farmers and scientists from N.C. State University and the N.C. Research Campus attended the first strawberry field day at the Research Station.

For details, see the report.