People of Northwest Public Radio
Mon April 7, 2014
Northwest Asparagus Growers Trying To Delay Harvest For Better Prices
Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco. The green points are the first crop harvested in spring. But this year farmers say they might not get the best prices. That’s because Mexican and Californian spears have flooded the market.
The nation eats more fresh Northwest asparagus on Easter than any other day with Mother’s Day second. So farmers from here to Mexico want to harvest lots of asparagus around this time. Their biggest Easter payday enemy? High temperatures. The hotter it gets, the faster those baby spears turn into tall, fluffy ferns. Right now, asparagus prices are low – there’s a lot of Mexican and Californian asparagus around stores still. Gary Larsen is a grower outside of Pasco. He says it doesn’t pay much to cut his asparagus right now, but he may have to.
“With the temperatures that are being forecast for next week, there’s no way to slow it down. So you might as well just get started and hope for the best,” says Larsen.
The best is that the temperatures in Mexico and California are starting to get hot and we won’t be seeing their asparagus in supermarkets for much longer. With that supply down, Northwest growers should start to see higher prices.
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