In Germany, “Initial forecasts vary” In many federal states, this year’s asparagus season has now officially begun, including in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the initial forecasts vary greatly. by FreshPlaza

“Initial forecasts vary”

In many federal states, this year’s asparagus season has now officially begun, including in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the initial forecasts vary greatly.
Lower Saxony:
Lower Saxony is the number one asparagus region, with every fifth asparagus stalk coming from Lower Saxony. “The rainy autumn and winter with little sunshine, but still very warm temperatures at the beginning of the year, allowed some farms to harvest their first fresh asparagus by Easter. Now we are hoping for more sunshine and less rain so that farms in all regions can start harvesting and asparagus can be offered at all sales points,” said Fred Eickhorst from the Association of Asparagus and Berry Growers e. V. at the official season opening in Lower Saxony.

“Our motivated seasonal workers, who return to the farms every year, perform the optimized workflows in well-coordinated teams. This ensures that the price of asparagus in our farm shops and sales booths remains at about last year’s level, despite significantly increased production costs, which we have tried to manage with further rationalizations.”

“We have even been marketing the first asparagus from heated regional cultivation in the west of Germany in small quantities since the beginning of March,” says Alexander Scheufen, Sales Manager Vegetables at Landgard West Obst & Gemüse. “The asparagus harvest in unheated open fields started in most of our member farms in the west in calendar week 12. Traditionally, the first open-field asparagus is initially available at farm shops and weekly markets due to the lower yields. With increasing quantities, we were able to add marketing via Landgard to retailers for open-field produce after Easter.”

Thorsten Clemens and his team grow early, mid, and late asparagus varieties under various foil coverings on around 45 hectares in the family-run horticultural business in Nettetal-Leuth. So far, he is very satisfied with the start of the asparagus season in open fields. “Due to the comparatively high soil temperature, we have had larger harvest volumes right from the start this year. Unlike regions with heavier soils, we were fortunate here in Nettetal not to have any problems with too much water and were able to navigate the fields well. How the season will develop, naturally primarily depends on the weather. If the good yields continue, there could be somewhat lower quantities available on the market at the end of the season than in 2023.”

Landgard producer Thorsten Clemens.

With the official start of the asparagus season in Worth (Herzogtum Lauenburg district), the season has begun. According to the Schleswig-Holstein Chamber of Agriculture, customers will have to pay as much as they did last year.

In Saxony-Anhalt, there are fewer and fewer asparagus farmers – only 32 this year – and less and less land for cultivating the royal vegetable. However, Gemüsehof Schönberg in the Altmark is defying this trend: They have even expanded their cultivation area. “When agricultural cooperative Seehausen stopped three years ago, we decided to cultivate a bit more land to cover the demand in the Seehausen region with local asparagus. We also don’t go into areas where there are other asparagus farmers. Why competitors would want to set up shop right under our noses is beyond me.”

“Expectations for the upcoming season could not be higher.” Miriam Adel, the chairwoman of the Franconian Asparagus Producers Association, was optimistic about the coming weeks at the season opening in Franconia and is hoping for mild and sunny weather for the optimal asparagus enjoyment. “After sufficient rainfall in winter, we look forward to the future with confidence,” said Adel. “Our local sandy soils are ideal for Franconian asparagus cultivation and promise an outstanding quality.”

Since mid-March, the big business with asparagus has already started in Austria: About five percent of the goods have already been sold to haute cuisine, retail, and others, but the labor-intensive harvest puts many farms to the test, which in turn is due to the shortage of harvest workers.


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