Cooler temperatures in late April and early May—and even a late season snowfall—delayed the harvest of Michigan’s asparagus crop by about a week but did not harm it. The cool spring weather provided growers with some extra time to prepare fields and complete beginning of season tasks like mowing and fertilizer application.
Now, Michigan asparagus season is officially underway with some grower shippers beginning to ship orders this week and many others beginning to ship next week. Quality, volumes and pricing will be similar to last season and peak volumes in late May and early June.
“Asparagus is a weather-dependent crop and can sometimes be unpredictable,” said John Bakker, executive director of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. “We expect to see promotional volumes the week of May 25 as we head into Memorial Day weekend.”
And although consumer shopping habits have changed, they are cooking more at the same time. Grilling and barbecuing are expected to be bigger than ever, even with meat shortages. What there isn’t a shortage of is fresh, in-season, domestically grown asparagus.
“We want to encourage retailers to leverage both in-store and online digital promotions to capitalize on those impulse purchase opportunities,” Bakker said.
As the country continues adjusting to a new normal amidst the current pandemic, buying local is more important than ever. Less miles traveled and a shorter supply chain, coupled with a duty to support smaller, local, family-owned businesses and sustainability efforts are all important things to consider.
The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board focuses on educating consumers on the importance of buying local versus imported asparagus and its plethora of health benefits. The board will roll out new content daily and host weekly giveaways via social media contests throughout May and June.
The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) promotes the production and consumption of Michigan Asparagus nationwide. The organization is dedicated to sharing the virtues of asparagus, while also assisting with agricultural research and the development of asparagus farming. The MAAB is funded by Michigan Asparagus growers.