Unseasonably cool spring temperatures and late season snowfall in the Michigan area have led to asparagus growers across the state are experiencing one of the latest seasonal starts in memory.
According to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB), the cool spring has given growers plenty of time for seasonal field work, including mowing and weed and fertilizer applications to get things going.
Although limited in acreage, growers in the southern region of Michigan have started to harvest this week. Most of the state’s growers located West Central Michigan, in the heart of the asparagus growing area, won’t begin harvesting until the week of 13 May.
“We may have a delayed start but most grower shippers are on schedule to harvest and deliver similar volume to last season.” said John Bakker, executive director of MAAB. “The biggest difference will be that the build up of volume will not happen slowly, over a couple weeks, but come on quickly between the week of 13 May until it reaches promotable volumes beginning the week of May 20th and continuing throughout the season.”
Suppliers throughout the industry are reporting that pricing and quality will largely be unaffected by the late season start and industry marketing programmes have already gotten underway to begin to prime consumers for the start of the much anticipated season.