Steve Thomas, president of Snow & Sons Produce Co. in Outlook, WA, said the 2013 asparagus harvest was expected to ramp up in early April. “We’ve got some warm weather now,” he told The Produce News on April 1. “We could start around April 8.”
The company has 400 acres in production this season, down from last year’s acreage. Mr. Thomas said this reflects a statewide trend in 2013. “But some new fields are being planted in Washington,” he noted.
“We’ve had some nice weather. The crop will look good if there aren’t any freezes,” he added.
Under optimal conditions, asparagus can grow three to four inches each day. For this reason, Mr. Thomas said it is important to have adequate labor to bring in the crop. Harvesting typically continues into the third week of June. Although Mr. Thomas said it’s too early to tell, he hopes the labor situation will not adversely affect production. “We didn’t think we were going to have labor problems last year,” he stated. “But we did.”
Asparagus is marketed under the “Snowflight” label and is sold in 28-pound wood and 11-pound wood or plastic crates. Snow & Sons markets asparagus domestically throughout the West Coast and Midwest. “If there is an opportunity, some may go back East,” he added. Asparagus is also exported to Canada.
In addition to asparagus, Snow & Sons markets briner cherries.