STOCKTON, CA -- Despite unseasonably wet and cool weather, California
asparagus growers are gearing up for on-time production, which will begin in
earnest in March.
All asparagus growing regions in California are seeing normal harvest timing
and volume prospects, with industry experts saying that the rain simply made
up for exceptionally dry weather in November and December. Growers expect
steady demand for the crop, which is expected to be slightly over 40 million
pounds -- similar to the 2010 harvest.
"There was some initial concern about the substantial rainfall, but the beds
are in great shape with the first asparagus just now seeing the light of day,"
Ed Zuckerman of Zuckerman Heritage Farms, here, said in a Jan. 25 press
release. He anticipates modest volume from his area through the end of
February, with full production early in March.
The Salinas area has also benefited from the recent rain. Wayne Gularte at
Rincon Farms in Gonzales, CA, said in the release that everything he is seeing
points to normal harvest timing and volume, with early production showing
Growers in the California Delta area near Stockton are also cautiously
optimistic that the start date and volume will be normal. "The rain has come
at a good time for our asparagus," Marc Marchini of A M Farms in Stockton
said in the release. "Because of the accompanying cool weather, we are
running a few days behind normal, but a warm spell could move us right back
to our normal harvest timing. We'll be in full production early in March."
Cherie Watte, executive director of the California Asparagus Commission,
reminds retailers that a limited quantity of market-proven sales aids are again
being made available to help promote the tender spring vegetable. Displaying
point-of-sale materials in-store can help retailers take full advantage of the
exceptional profit opportunity offered by California asparagus. For full details,
visit the calasparagus.com web site.