Valley Asparagus Growers Struggle To Compete


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Asparagus is coming up in the Delta, but cheaper imports make it too expensive to harvest. Prices at the supermarket have seldom been lower, even dropping to 99-cents a pound, this makes it harder and harder for Delta farmers to compete.

Asparagus from Mexico and Peru is driving down the price in U.S. markets.

The Delta which includes San Joaquin County has been one of the prime areas for asparagus but for now farmers say they can't afford to sell it.

Grower Marc Marchini calls it a disaster, so much so that many growers are delaying the harvest.

"Most of the guys can't even put it in the box say for $1.40lb, it's basically a giveaway right now," Marchini said. "We're losing money on every box we put on the shelf."

But Marchini says imports are forcing many growers to switch to other crops and asparagus acreage is shrinking dramatically.

"I'm not sure if California will even stay in the asparagus business, I mean this is how desperate it is right now."

Marchini says the Mexican asparagus season will end as the weather heats up there, giving Delta growers about a month and a half to sell their crops and avoid a loss.

 

Asparagus In Field 2013 Best 

 




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