“Asparagus prices are expected to be similar to those of last year” in Germany by FreshPlaza

Asparagus Update Weeks 10-11:

“Asparagus prices are expected to be similar to those of last year”

Following a rainy autumn and winter, there’s a glimmer of hope in the fields: the first asparagus spears have been discovered. However, this year’s asparagus season is off to a slow start. Significant quantities of asparagus are expected to hit the direct market by Easter. Asparagus prices are anticipated to be in line with last year’s.
According to the AMI, Germany’s self-sufficiency rate for asparagus was at 83 percent last year. This makes white asparagus one of the few vegetables produced and consumed to this high degree in Germany. Purchasing domestic asparagus not only secures the country’s self-sufficiency but is also sustainable and fair. The short transportation distances save a significant amount of CO2. With 12.41 EUR, Germany ranks fourth in Europe in terms of minimum wage after Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Ireland for 2024. Harvest workers in Germany receive a higher minimum wage than those in France (11.65 EUR), Spain (6.78 EUR), and Greece (4.51 EUR). Italy does not have a nationwide minimum wage.

This week, a few operations might already harvest some asparagus. By the end of March, the first significant quantities of regional asparagus will be available. Simon Schumacher, CEO of the Association of South German Asparagus and Strawberry Growers e.V., is optimistic about the season: “Growers have removed unprofitable and old asparagus plants from production to offset rising production costs. We expect asparagus prices to be similar to last year. As always, direct marketing offers asparagus at various price points to suit every budget.”

Rolf Meinhardt from Tannenhof has been an asparagus farmer for over 40 years. Yet, he has never started harvesting asparagus this early. New cultivation techniques and the mild winter make it possible, he says. The farmer from Weiterstadt has already harvested several hundred kilos of the vegetable. Top-quality asparagus is currently priced at 17 to 18 EUR.

In Bavaria, some asparagus is expected to be harvested in week 11. However, larger quantities are not anticipated until April. “Of course, we need the sun,” says asparagus farmer Christian Schiebel from Pörnbach. Hans Gänger from Lower Bavaria expects larger volumes only by the beginning of April, which is also when distribution to larger markets is set to start.

Bernd Hesseling from Bauernmarkt Lindchen uses waste heat to warm a portion of his asparagus fields in the Kleve region. Hesseling has observed the trend towards a longer and especially earlier asparagus season for some time. Many farmers now regulate the temperature in the asparagus mounds through tunnels or foils, and with pre-warmed fields, this idea is expected to be intensified. “I believe this is the innovation step for Asparagus 2.0,” Hesseling stated. It’s a great opportunity and a “promising matter” for farmers in the Lower Rhine region to stand out against imported goods.

For asparagus farmers in the Voreifel and foothills, Easter comes too early this year. It’s impossible to predict the yield, as the weather’s cooperation remains uncertain. “We can now start the upcoming season with sufficient soil moisture,” says one farmer.

In the state of Brandenburg, the first asparagus of this season has already been harvested on the fields of the Gut Herrenhölzer in Bensdorf. (Potsdam-Mittelmark).