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California asparagus production

The California 2007 asparagus production is estimated at 598,000 cwt., negligibly down from 2006. The harvested acreage was reduced by 4 percent from the 2006 season to the 2007 season.

A freeze in mid-January had minimal impact on the asparagus crop, according to USDA/NASS. Acreage continues to decline due to competition from imports. The yield is estimated at 26 cwt., 4 percent above last year.

Nationally, production of the 2007 asparagus crop is forecast at 1.13 million cwt., down 8 percent from the 2006 production. Harvested acreage, at 41,200, is down 8 percent from last year. Fresh production of 936,000 cwt., decreased 6 percent from the revised 2006 production. Processed production, at 9,900 tons, is down 18 percent from 2006. Total value of the crop, at $112.8 million, is up 8 percent from 2006. In Michigan, the asparagus crop emerged in the west central area in late April. The crop did not exhibit severe damage from the winter weather conditions.

Harvest began on a limited basis at the beginning of May and continued on schedule for the remainder of the month. Despite some reports of purple spots, new plantings proceeded on schedule. Yields were average, but the quality of the crop was excellent. Harvest was near completion in older stands toward the end of May. In June, an extended period of warm weather matured the crop quickly. Common asparagus beetles affected some fields in west central Michigan.

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