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Peru and U.S. have symbiotic asparagus relationship

Peru is one of the larger producers of asparagus in the world and the United States is the largest consumer. The two countries need each other.

The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association revealed that in 2013, Peruvian growers sent 403 million pounds of asparagus to the United States. That represented almost 50 percent of U.S. asparagus and about two-thirds of Peru’s exports.

While Peru does have growing markets for its product in Europe,Priscilla-LlerasPriscilla Lleras Asia and other countries, none can move product like it can be moved in the United States.

“We are the main market for Peruvian asparagus,” said Paul Auerbach, president of Maurice A. Auerbach Inc., based in Secaucus, NJ, speaking of the U.S. market in general. “Europe can move a few pallets but no one can take 10,000 cases and move it like we can.”

Priscilla Lleras, coordinator for PAIA, said that recent “survey results conclude that U.S. shoppers are adding asparagus to their carts more than in the past making asparagus the number three ‘most popular’ item that consumers say they are now buying.

As such, the PAIA’s 2014/2015 Category Management Plan Outline for Fresh Peruvian Asparagus specifically includes statistics relating to market summaries, trends, nutritional facts and consumer positioning. The plan provides fresh-market asparagus consumption key demographics and suggestions regarding displays, as well as promotional/advertising ideas that offer retailers with creative fresh strategies to increase sales of Peruvian asparagus.

“The Category Management Plan Outline for Fresh Peruvian Asparagus is a resource tool that industry and retailers will use to sell more asparagus,” said Lleras. “The plan contains statistics, trends and strategies that will equip retailers and the industry at large with the most updated information in the category. The plan also contains the necessary summary information of the health benefits, value and convenience of fresh Peruvian asparagus that should make Peruvian asparagus a staple for every U.S. household.”

The plan is available to retailers and others from any member of the Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association or by contacting Lleras at prestige@1scom.net.

For the current season, Walter Yager, CEO Alpine Fresh is PAIA’s East Coast co-chair, while Brian Miller, president of Gourmet Trading Co. is West Coast co-chair.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Complex future of asparagus in Peru

Added value is key
Complex future of asparagus in Peru

Peru’s position as the world’s largest exporter of fresh and canned asparagus is currently facing a complex problem. 

The higher freight costs, compared to Mexico, the steady decline in profitability and the consequent change of local farmers to crops with higher profit margins, are factors that endanger the future position of the Peruvian asparagus. 

85% of asparagus exports are shipped by air, mainly to the United States and Europe. 

40% of the price of a kilo of fresh Peruvian asparagus in the U.S. is used to pay freight prices. 

According to Ramon Aparcana, general manager of Peak Quality, even though Peru pays much higher freight costs than their Mexican competitors, Peru maintains its competitiveness. 

“What helps us is our productivity, the fields’ management in Peru is much more technical than in Mexico. We can harvest up to twice of what they harvest per hectare,” he stated. 

As the sector’s profits have been decreasing in recent years, producers have been forced to achieve productivity levels and cost management that only large companies can achieve. 

“In the past, when profits were higher, it was normal for there to be farmers who didn’t have much more than 10 hectares. Currently, this has changed and the business is divided among a few hands,” said Ramon, who added that” the issue is really about profitability. That’s why some producers are giving more space to the grape.”

Peru needs to compete with Mexico, because Mexico’s production and export to US is growing. “In the medium term, thanks to the possible reduction of the mandatory fumigation in Peru by the USDA. We could have different presentations for the customers in the U.S., as we do in Europe, and that’s something the Mexicans won’t do,” said Ramón. 

It appears that the added value is not only key, but also the only way for Peru to continue leading the asparagus’ market in the future.



For more information:
Ramón Aparcana
Gerente general
Peak Quality del Peru S.A.
T:+51 56 797918
M:+51 956 789237
[email protected]
www.peakquality.net

Publication date: 7/25/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Peru a key asparagus supplier to the U.S. market

The Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association has released its 2014-15 category management plan outline for fresh Peruvian asparagus. It noted that fresh asparagus continues to be a high-volume U.S. import, with over 403 million pounds imported into the U.S. and consumed throughout the United States, according to the Department of Commerce. Peru remains to be a key supplier to the U.S. market, representing over 47 percent of the import supply and over 45 percent of the total U.S. import dollar value for asparagus.PAIA-Logo

The survey results concluded that U.S. shoppers are adding asparagus to their carts more than in the past, making asparagus the third-most popular item that consumers say they are now buying, and the association anticipates increasing consumption and demand for fresh asparagus in 2014.

The 2014-15 category management plan outline for fresh Peruvian asparagus specifically includes statistics relating to market summaries, trends, nutritional facts and consumer positioning. The plan provides fresh-market asparagus consumption key demographics and suggestions regarding displays, as well as promotional and advertising ideas that offer retailers with creative fresh strategies to increase sales of Peruvian asparagus.

“The category management plan outline for fresh Peruvian asparagus is a resource/tool that industry and retailers will use to sell more asparagus,” Priscilla Lleras, PAIA coordinator, said in a press release. “The plan contains statistics, trends and strategies that will equip retailers and the industry at large with the most updated information in the category. The plan also contains the necessary summary information of the health benefits, value and convenience of fresh Peruvian asparagus that should make Peruvian asparagus a staple for every U.S. household.”

The plan is available from any member of the Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association or by contacting its coordinator, Priscilla Lleras, at prestige@1scom.net.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Peru a key asparagus supplier to the U.S. market

The Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association has released its 2014-15 category management plan outline for fresh Peruvian asparagus. It noted that fresh asparagus continues to be a high-volume U.S. import, with over 403 million pounds imported into the U.S. and consumed throughout the United States, according to the Department of Commerce. Peru remains to be a key supplier to the U.S. market, representing over 47 percent of the import supply and over 45 percent of the total U.S. import dollar value for asparagus.PAIA-Logo

The survey results concluded that U.S. shoppers are adding asparagus to their carts more than in the past, making asparagus the third-most popular item that consumers say they are now buying, and the association anticipates increasing consumption and demand for fresh asparagus in 2014.

The 2014-15 category management plan outline for fresh Peruvian asparagus specifically includes statistics relating to market summaries, trends, nutritional facts and consumer positioning. The plan provides fresh-market asparagus consumption key demographics and suggestions regarding displays, as well as promotional and advertising ideas that offer retailers with creative fresh strategies to increase sales of Peruvian asparagus.

“The category management plan outline for fresh Peruvian asparagus is a resource/tool that industry and retailers will use to sell more asparagus,” Priscilla Lleras, PAIA coordinator, said in a press release. “The plan contains statistics, trends and strategies that will equip retailers and the industry at large with the most updated information in the category. The plan also contains the necessary summary information of the health benefits, value and convenience of fresh Peruvian asparagus that should make Peruvian asparagus a staple for every U.S. household.”

The plan is available from any member of the Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association or by contacting its coordinator, Priscilla Lleras, at prestige@1scom.net.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Labor concerns loom for Michigan asparagus industry

Frost damage in west-central Michigan’s asparagus crop is minor compared to that industry’s labor concerns for the year.

John Bakker, executive director of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, indicated that there was significant frost damage to his industry’s crop on the evening of May 16.

Eighty percent of the asparagus fields in west-central Michigan had frost damage, “but we are just waiting for it to re-grow,” Bakker said May 19. “We will be harvesting again mid- to late this week. The forecast is good and we didn’t lose a lot of production,” in part due to the crop being late this year.

“We started very late,” he said. “Spring wouldn’t come this year. It was a hard winter and a cold spring. We are a couple of weeks behind.”

Asparagus growers with fields in southern Michigan didn’t begin harvest until about May 9. It was only a few days before May 16 that the state’s northern asparagus fields were frozen. But, those fields will quickly rebound and Bakker expects Michigan’s asparagus harvest to run through June.

Marketed volume in 2014 should about equal to 2013 Michigan asparagus volume of 20 million pounds. About 8 million pounds will to go to the fresh market this year, with the remainder of the total going to the processing market. The fresh market share has risen in two years to about 40 percent from 20-25 percent. Bakker said in another two years about half the state’s asparagus will go to the fresh market.

When Bakker was told that The Produce News had seen Peruvian asparagus in a Michigan warehouse on May 15, he responded, “I’m not surprised.” He said Michigan growers enjoy “a high demand” that is driven in large part by Midwesterners’ interest in locally grown produce. “There are times you could buy Peru or Mexican asparagus cheaper. What we are willing to sell for would be the question.”

Bakker said the strong demand would naturally be expected to drive growers to increase asparagus production in Michigan. A major intervening factor, however, has been inadequate labor to harvest the crop.

A lack of labor “is about to crush the industry. Last year we mowed off 10 percent of the crop because there was no labor to harvest it. This year we are easing in to harvest but when we hit our stride over the weekend” there may be more problems.

Michigan asparagus growers are talking with other Michigan commodity groups — including sweet cherries, apples, blueberries and peaches — about cooperating to create an H2A foreign labor program.

“We are all in the same situation,” he said. “We are working on creating a statewide association.”

This would be especially useful in Michigan because of the horticultural crop diversity, which brings a demand for labor from May 1 until the end of October. The Michigan Farm Bureau might start a pilot program with Michigan apple growers this fall, he said. If this succeeds, there will be a program expansion.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Labor concerns loom for Michigan asparagus industry

Frost damage in west-central Michigan’s asparagus crop is minor compared to that industry’s labor concerns for the year.

John Bakker, executive director of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, indicated that there was significant frost damage to his industry’s crop on the evening of May 16.

Eighty percent of the asparagus fields in west-central Michigan had frost damage, “but we are just waiting for it to re-grow,” Bakker said May 19. “We will be harvesting again mid- to late this week. The forecast is good and we didn’t lose a lot of production,” in part due to the crop being late this year.

“We started very late,” he said. “Spring wouldn’t come this year. It was a hard winter and a cold spring. We are a couple of weeks behind.”

Asparagus growers with fields in southern Michigan didn’t begin harvest until about May 9. It was only a few days before May 16 that the state’s northern asparagus fields were frozen. But, those fields will quickly rebound and Bakker expects Michigan’s asparagus harvest to run through June.

Marketed volume in 2014 should about equal to 2013 Michigan asparagus volume of 20 million pounds. About 8 million pounds will to go to the fresh market this year, with the remainder of the total going to the processing market. The fresh market share has risen in two years to about 40 percent from 20-25 percent. Bakker said in another two years about half the state’s asparagus will go to the fresh market.

When Bakker was told that The Produce News had seen Peruvian asparagus in a Michigan warehouse on May 15, he responded, “I’m not surprised.” He said Michigan growers enjoy “a high demand” that is driven in large part by Midwesterners’ interest in locally grown produce. “There are times you could buy Peru or Mexican asparagus cheaper. What we are willing to sell for would be the question.”

Bakker said the strong demand would naturally be expected to drive growers to increase asparagus production in Michigan. A major intervening factor, however, has been inadequate labor to harvest the crop.

A lack of labor “is about to crush the industry. Last year we mowed off 10 percent of the crop because there was no labor to harvest it. This year we are easing in to harvest but when we hit our stride over the weekend” there may be more problems.

Michigan asparagus growers are talking with other Michigan commodity groups — including sweet cherries, apples, blueberries and peaches — about cooperating to create an H2A foreign labor program.

“We are all in the same situation,” he said. “We are working on creating a statewide association.”

This would be especially useful in Michigan because of the horticultural crop diversity, which brings a demand for labor from May 1 until the end of October. The Michigan Farm Bureau might start a pilot program with Michigan apple growers this fall, he said. If this succeeds, there will be a program expansion.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Labor concerns loom for Michigan asparagus industry

Frost damage in west-central Michigan’s asparagus crop is minor compared to that industry’s labor concerns for the year.

John Bakker, executive director of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, indicated that there was significant frost damage to his industry’s crop on the evening of May 16.

Eighty percent of the asparagus fields in west-central Michigan had frost damage, “but we are just waiting for it to re-grow,” Bakker said May 19. “We will be harvesting again mid- to late this week. The forecast is good and we didn’t lose a lot of production,” in part due to the crop being late this year.

“We started very late,” he said. “Spring wouldn’t come this year. It was a hard winter and a cold spring. We are a couple of weeks behind.”

Asparagus growers with fields in southern Michigan didn’t begin harvest until about May 9. It was only a few days before May 16 that the state’s northern asparagus fields were frozen. But, those fields will quickly rebound and Bakker expects Michigan’s asparagus harvest to run through June.

Marketed volume in 2014 should about equal to 2013 Michigan asparagus volume of 20 million pounds. About 8 million pounds will to go to the fresh market this year, with the remainder of the total going to the processing market. The fresh market share has risen in two years to about 40 percent from 20-25 percent. Bakker said in another two years about half the state’s asparagus will go to the fresh market.

When Bakker was told that The Produce News had seen Peruvian asparagus in a Michigan warehouse on May 15, he responded, “I’m not surprised.” He said Michigan growers enjoy “a high demand” that is driven in large part by Midwesterners’ interest in locally grown produce. “There are times you could buy Peru or Mexican asparagus cheaper. What we are willing to sell for would be the question.”

Bakker said the strong demand would naturally be expected to drive growers to increase asparagus production in Michigan. A major intervening factor, however, has been inadequate labor to harvest the crop.

A lack of labor “is about to crush the industry. Last year we mowed off 10 percent of the crop because there was no labor to harvest it. This year we are easing in to harvest but when we hit our stride over the weekend” there may be more problems.

Michigan asparagus growers are talking with other Michigan commodity groups — including sweet cherries, apples, blueberries and peaches — about cooperating to create an H2A foreign labor program.

“We are all in the same situation,” he said. “We are working on creating a statewide association.”

This would be especially useful in Michigan because of the horticultural crop diversity, which brings a demand for labor from May 1 until the end of October. The Michigan Farm Bureau might start a pilot program with Michigan apple growers this fall, he said. If this succeeds, there will be a program expansion.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

US: Asparagus pricing could soften

With supplies from several asparagus-growing states coming online, prices could dip. Warm weather, which has been affecting demand, could also contribute to softening prices.

“With the warmer weather, fruit is at the front of peoples minds,” said Kristen Francisco, vice president of sales and marketing for Gourmet Trading Company in California. “That’s dampening overall asparagus demand.” Lagging demand hasn’t affected all areas uniformly, but with several regions sending more product to market, prices could get weaker. Francisco noted that they’re currently receiving shipments of asparagus domestically from Washington, California, Michigan and New Jersey, with supplies from abroad coming from Mexico, Canada and Peru.

“Pricing has gone more regional,” noted Francisco. “We are seeing stronger prices in the west, but with several regional deals starting up, the market is softening slightly.”

For more information:

Chloe Varennes

Gourmet Trading Company

+1 310 216 7575

FreshPlaza.com

Washington asparagus growers off to a strong start

Washington asparagus growers have begun their 2014 season with a bang. “We had our first grower start the asparagus harvest on March 31, Alan Schreiber, executive director of the Washington Asparagus Commission, told The Produce News in mid-April. “We’re off to a strong start.”

Warm weather has favored production. Schreiber defined the extent of this strong start by saying that one of the state’s growers had already cut 10 percent of its expected annual volume in the first seven days of activity.OpenerShotWashington asparagus producers are anticipating a crop in the range of 19-20 million pounds, up from 2013 production. (Photo Courtesy of Gourmet Trading Co.)

“By April 4-6, everyone was cutting,” he went on to say.

The state’s grower base has remained relatively unchanged from the 2013 season. Last year, growers produced a total of 16 million pounds of asparagus, and Schreiber expects 2014 volume will range between 19-20 million pounds.

He said labor pools are always tight, and concern about an adequate labor force comes up every year. Looking at the 2014 season, he went on to say, “Right now, packers and growers feel they have adequate labor. A few growers may be short. But they’re OK. Nobody has a surplus of labor. We’re right on the edge of having enough workers.”

Producers continue to make their best guestimates as to the labor they will need — and the labor that will be available — as they make decisions whether to stop planting asparagus or cut down on planted acreage.

In 2014, Washington’s asparagus growers are moving into their season with relatively good market prices. “Overall, the price is trending up,” Schreiber commented.

Several factors are at play here. “This is the worst season they’ve had in Mexico,” he stated. As Mexico exited the market, domestic production ramped up. “California is in peak production,” he went on to say. “The supply is not going to increase.” And Michigan growers sustained several inches of snow during mid-April, which will likely delay their entry into the marketplace by two weeks, thereby compressing their marketing window.

Temperate weather in Washington translated to an earlier start date for producers.

Schreiber expected a softening of pricing from the Wednesday before Easter to the Wednesday following Easter. Once this short window passed, he anticipated that pricing will move upward. According to Schreiber, asparagus prices have continued to increase during the past 11 years.

Production dynamics may be shifting in the industry. Schreiber said some of the shift can be attributed to labor issues, while others relate to crop productivity. “We have two classes of growers,” he explained. The first group includes existing growers who think they can secure the labor needed to harvest additional acreage. “In 2014, we had more non-asparagus growers getting into asparagus,” he said of the second class of grower.

Historically, asparagus — which is a perennial — reaches full production after a five-year maturation period. After transfer from a greenhouse, asparagus crowns are planted in the field, and the waiting game begins. Smaller harvests begin in the third year.

A new system being utilized is direct seeding, which allows growers to plant directly into the ground. As a result, light harvests are realized in the second production year.

“It’s catching on like fire,” Schreiber commented.

Another trend is the potential shift to newer varieties that yield higher plant counts, facilitate higher density plantings and greater yields. Schreiber is conducting research to determine just how successful these newer varieties will be if the shift is made.

Research results are promising. “The research is paying off. We are going to double our yields,” he said of preliminary results. The bottom-line positive is that “everyone, including workers, will be making more money.”

His optimistic stance is tempered with the knowledge that plant vigor and disease resistance must be fully understood. “Some of these varieties are more susceptible to disease,” he explained. And so comes the tradeoff: “Are we trading higher yields for more pest problems?”

Federal funds have been allocated to monitor grower trials to help answer this important question. As difficult as the balancing act appears, Schreiber is undaunted. “There are tools in place to monitor this,” he stated. “It would just require more monitoring.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Washington asparagus growers off to a strong start

Washington asparagus growers have begun their 2014 season with a bang. “We had our first grower start the asparagus harvest on March 31, Alan Schreiber, executive director of the Washington Asparagus Commission, told The Produce News in mid-April. “We’re off to a strong start.”

Warm weather has favored production. Schreiber defined the extent of this strong start by saying that one of the state’s growers had already cut 10 percent of its expected annual volume in the first seven days of activity.OpenerShotWashington asparagus producers are anticipating a crop in the range of 19-20 million pounds, up from 2013 production. (Photo Courtesy of Gourmet Trading Co.)

“By April 4-6, everyone was cutting,” he went on to say.

The state’s grower base has remained relatively unchanged from the 2013 season. Last year, growers produced a total of 16 million pounds of asparagus, and Schreiber expects 2014 volume will range between 19-20 million pounds.

He said labor pools are always tight, and concern about an adequate labor force comes up every year. Looking at the 2014 season, he went on to say, “Right now, packers and growers feel they have adequate labor. A few growers may be short. But they’re OK. Nobody has a surplus of labor. We’re right on the edge of having enough workers.”

Producers continue to make their best guestimates as to the labor they will need — and the labor that will be available — as they make decisions whether to stop planting asparagus or cut down on planted acreage.

In 2014, Washington’s asparagus growers are moving into their season with relatively good market prices. “Overall, the price is trending up,” Schreiber commented.

Several factors are at play here. “This is the worst season they’ve had in Mexico,” he stated. As Mexico exited the market, domestic production ramped up. “California is in peak production,” he went on to say. “The supply is not going to increase.” And Michigan growers sustained several inches of snow during mid-April, which will likely delay their entry into the marketplace by two weeks, thereby compressing their marketing window.

Temperate weather in Washington translated to an earlier start date for producers.

Schreiber expected a softening of pricing from the Wednesday before Easter to the Wednesday following Easter. Once this short window passed, he anticipated that pricing will move upward. According to Schreiber, asparagus prices have continued to increase during the past 11 years.

Production dynamics may be shifting in the industry. Schreiber said some of the shift can be attributed to labor issues, while others relate to crop productivity. “We have two classes of growers,” he explained. The first group includes existing growers who think they can secure the labor needed to harvest additional acreage. “In 2014, we had more non-asparagus growers getting into asparagus,” he said of the second class of grower.

Historically, asparagus — which is a perennial — reaches full production after a five-year maturation period. After transfer from a greenhouse, asparagus crowns are planted in the field, and the waiting game begins. Smaller harvests begin in the third year.

A new system being utilized is direct seeding, which allows growers to plant directly into the ground. As a result, light harvests are realized in the second production year.

“It’s catching on like fire,” Schreiber commented.

Another trend is the potential shift to newer varieties that yield higher plant counts, facilitate higher density plantings and greater yields. Schreiber is conducting research to determine just how successful these newer varieties will be if the shift is made.

Research results are promising. “The research is paying off. We are going to double our yields,” he said of preliminary results. The bottom-line positive is that “everyone, including workers, will be making more money.”

His optimistic stance is tempered with the knowledge that plant vigor and disease resistance must be fully understood. “Some of these varieties are more susceptible to disease,” he explained. And so comes the tradeoff: “Are we trading higher yields for more pest problems?”

Federal funds have been allocated to monitor grower trials to help answer this important question. As difficult as the balancing act appears, Schreiber is undaunted. “There are tools in place to monitor this,” he stated. “It would just require more monitoring.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Washington asparagus growers off to a strong start

Washington asparagus growers have begun their 2014 season with a bang. “We had our first grower start the asparagus harvest on March 31, Alan Schreiber, executive director of the Washington Asparagus Commission, told The Produce News in mid-April. “We’re off to a strong start.”

Warm weather has favored production. Schreiber defined the extent of this strong start by saying that one of the state’s growers had already cut 10 percent of its expected annual volume in the first seven days of activity.OpenerShotWashington asparagus producers are anticipating a crop in the range of 19-20 million pounds, up from 2013 production. (Photo Courtesy of Gourmet Trading Co.)

“By April 4-6, everyone was cutting,” he went on to say.

The state’s grower base has remained relatively unchanged from the 2013 season. Last year, growers produced a total of 16 million pounds of asparagus, and Schreiber expects 2014 volume will range between 19-20 million pounds.

He said labor pools are always tight, and concern about an adequate labor force comes up every year. Looking at the 2014 season, he went on to say, “Right now, packers and growers feel they have adequate labor. A few growers may be short. But they’re OK. Nobody has a surplus of labor. We’re right on the edge of having enough workers.”

Producers continue to make their best guestimates as to the labor they will need — and the labor that will be available — as they make decisions whether to stop planting asparagus or cut down on planted acreage.

In 2014, Washington’s asparagus growers are moving into their season with relatively good market prices. “Overall, the price is trending up,” Schreiber commented.

Several factors are at play here. “This is the worst season they’ve had in Mexico,” he stated. As Mexico exited the market, domestic production ramped up. “California is in peak production,” he went on to say. “The supply is not going to increase.” And Michigan growers sustained several inches of snow during mid-April, which will likely delay their entry into the marketplace by two weeks, thereby compressing their marketing window.

Temperate weather in Washington translated to an earlier start date for producers.

Schreiber expected a softening of pricing from the Wednesday before Easter to the Wednesday following Easter. Once this short window passed, he anticipated that pricing will move upward. According to Schreiber, asparagus prices have continued to increase during the past 11 years.

Production dynamics may be shifting in the industry. Schreiber said some of the shift can be attributed to labor issues, while others relate to crop productivity. “We have two classes of growers,” he explained. The first group includes existing growers who think they can secure the labor needed to harvest additional acreage. “In 2014, we had more non-asparagus growers getting into asparagus,” he said of the second class of grower.

Historically, asparagus — which is a perennial — reaches full production after a five-year maturation period. After transfer from a greenhouse, asparagus crowns are planted in the field, and the waiting game begins. Smaller harvests begin in the third year.

A new system being utilized is direct seeding, which allows growers to plant directly into the ground. As a result, light harvests are realized in the second production year.

“It’s catching on like fire,” Schreiber commented.

Another trend is the potential shift to newer varieties that yield higher plant counts, facilitate higher density plantings and greater yields. Schreiber is conducting research to determine just how successful these newer varieties will be if the shift is made.

Research results are promising. “The research is paying off. We are going to double our yields,” he said of preliminary results. The bottom-line positive is that “everyone, including workers, will be making more money.”

His optimistic stance is tempered with the knowledge that plant vigor and disease resistance must be fully understood. “Some of these varieties are more susceptible to disease,” he explained. And so comes the tradeoff: “Are we trading higher yields for more pest problems?”

Federal funds have been allocated to monitor grower trials to help answer this important question. As difficult as the balancing act appears, Schreiber is undaunted. “There are tools in place to monitor this,” he stated. “It would just require more monitoring.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

With the arrival of Spring, fresh Sabline® asparagus is back on offer.  To keep up with demand, PRIM’LAND is developing partnerships with asparagus farmers from numerous producing areas in France.

Over 200 tons of white and purple Sabline® asparagus is expected this season from the South West and Val de Loire. The S.W. is the largest French asparagus production area (available from mid-March to beginning of June). The Val de Loire has asparagus from beginning of April to mid-June. Sabline® will also be available under a quality label:  Indication Géographique Protégée de Navarre  (Protected Geographical Indication). The Navarre has a long-held family tradition in asparagus farming. The Ebre valley is particularly well-known for its unique soil as well as its climate that favours asparagus growth.  The Navarre producers primarily use local varieties known for their tenderness and whiteness- of high caliber and incomparable taste. The Navarre obtained the IGP in 2003. Over 100 tons will be available this year between the end of March and mid-June.

Publication date: 4/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

With the arrival of Spring, fresh Sabline® asparagus is back on offer.  To keep up with demand, PRIM’LAND is developing partnerships with asparagus farmers from numerous producing areas in France.

Over 200 tons of white and purple Sabline® asparagus is expected this season from the South West and Val de Loire. The S.W. is the largest French asparagus production area (available from mid-March to beginning of June). The Val de Loire has asparagus from beginning of April to mid-June. Sabline® will also be available under a quality label:  Indication Géographique Protégée de Navarre  (Protected Geographical Indication). The Navarre has a long-held family tradition in asparagus farming. The Ebre valley is particularly well-known for its unique soil as well as its climate that favours asparagus growth.  The Navarre producers primarily use local varieties known for their tenderness and whiteness- of high caliber and incomparable taste. The Navarre obtained the IGP in 2003. Over 100 tons will be available this year between the end of March and mid-June.

Publication date: 4/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

PRIM’LAND announces Sabline® asparagus season in France

With the arrival of Spring, fresh Sabline® asparagus is back on offer.  To keep up with demand, PRIM’LAND is developing partnerships with asparagus farmers from numerous producing areas in France.

Over 200 tons of white and purple Sabline® asparagus is expected this season from the South West and Val de Loire. The S.W. is the largest French asparagus production area (available from mid-March to beginning of June). The Val de Loire has asparagus from beginning of April to mid-June. Sabline® will also be available under a quality label:  Indication Géographique Protégée de Navarre  (Protected Geographical Indication). The Navarre has a long-held family tradition in asparagus farming. The Ebre valley is particularly well-known for its unique soil as well as its climate that favours asparagus growth.  The Navarre producers primarily use local varieties known for their tenderness and whiteness- of high caliber and incomparable taste. The Navarre obtained the IGP in 2003. Over 100 tons will be available this year between the end of March and mid-June.

Publication date: 4/4/2014


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