North Carolina ranks 5th in pepper production behind California, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey and contributes The majority of the industry is focused on Bell pepper production for the fresh market and reliable statistics are available for this component of the industry. Processing peppers may account for an additional 10% of acreage and value, not included in the statistics presented here. There are approximately 7,300 acres with an estimated total industry value (farm gate) of $21 million. Total production costs on a yearly basis are estimated at $1736.00 per acre. This varies with the type of production system (e.g. bare-ground or plasticulture). An estimated 80% of the crop is destined for fresh market and 20% for processing. (Part of the fresh acreage is diverted to processing as needed).
The majority of the pepper crop is produced in the central East Coast region. Prominent counties include Sampson, Duplin, Wayne, Johnston, Pender and Columbus counties. Pepper production is also important in the western part of the state.
Plant diseases can be a serious limitation to profitable economic returns. The most serious disease statewide is Phytophthora crown and root rot, in part because disease control is so difficult. Other diseases of major economic importance include bacterial spot, southern stem blight, anthracnose fruit rot, bacterial soft rot and root knot nematode.
Phytophthora blight of pepper NCSU Factsheet
Bacterial spot of pepper NCSU Factsheet
Pepper bacterial wilt NCSU Factsheet