Californian asparagus set for "great year"

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Californian asparagus set for "great year"

Slow spear development leads to grower optimism of a high-quality crop for the upcoming season

Californian asparagus set for "great year"

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The California Asparagus Commission has revealed that cooler-than-normal weather in the state continues to slow spear development in asparagus beds, leading to hopes of a high-quality crop this year.

"Daytime temperatures have been warm enough to help the asparagus mature, but low temperatures at night discourage the spears from emerging," noted Marc Marchini of A M Farms. "Additional time in beds improves quality, so we're optimistic that this is going to be a great year for California asparagus."

According to the Commission, some growers in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley have already started harvesting limited volumes, as have a few westside growers, while Salinas Valley harvesting will begin shortly.

The anticipated strong season will be backed by an aggressive promotional campaign following the renewal of a Marketing Order by growers, in a bid to help retailers move asparagus into shopping carts, explained California Asparagus Commission executive director Cherie Watte.

Included in the campaign are a series of product usage ideas for consumers and foodservice press releases, point-of-sale materials and sales incentive programmes for commercial and non-commercial foodservice segments.

"With the help of Mother Nature, this could be our best asparagus season ever," Ms Watt added.

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