Swiss farmers brought in a good asparagus harvest

Swiss vegetable producers have greatly expanded their asparagus production in recent years. Acreage has more than doubled since 2007, to 390 hectares in 2017. However, local production only covers around 7 percent of the demand. Of the 11,000 tons sold in 2017, only 800 tons came from local fields. The annual per capita consumption is 1.4 kg.

A good harvest - Vegetable farmers harvested 780 tons of asparagus this year. This is similar to the previous year and 5 percent above the average of the last 5 years. Swiss asparagus cover around 7 percent of demand. The annual per capita consumption is 1.4 kg. Source: SZG

At the end of June, Raphael Peterhans and his team harvested the last asparagus at the Spargelhof in Rafz ZH. The manager is satisfied with the 2018 season. "We have good yields, the harvesting conditions were ideal, and last but not least there were no frosty nights like last year." The only downside: The green asparagus harvest was bad. Peterhans claims this was due to the hailstorm that badly damaged the green asparagus and weakened it last year.

Peterhans and his team harvested their first asparagus in mid-April, three weeks later than the year before. Although it was still cool at the start of the harvest, the mercury kept rising and with it, the quantities harvested. According to Peterhans, the warm temperatures stimulated growth, but in some cases also led to discoloration and open asparagus tips.

The vegetable producers harvested 460 tons of white asparagus this year, more than ever before. The harvest of green asparagus was about 10 percent smaller than last year. The asparagus acreage has more than doubled since last year's 390 hectares since 2007. Source: SZG

White asparagus dominates

460 Tonnes of white asparagus were harvested: a new record. The green asparagus yield was 10 percent smaller than last year. Acreage has more than doubled since 2007, to 390 hectares in 2017. Source: SZG

Record harvest white asparagus
The 2018 season has been good throughout all of Switzerland. Around 780 tons of asparagus were harvested by the producers, according to the Swiss Central Office for Horticulture and Special Crops. That is slightly less than last year, but about 5 percent more than the average of the last 5 years. White asparagus even saw a record volume of 460 tons. In the case of green asparagus, the harvest of 320 tons is about 10 percent smaller than in the year before.

Florian Sandrini is satisfied with this year's asparagus season. The representative of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Spargelmarkt speaks of a very concentrated harvest. "The start was slightly later than last year, then large quantities followed quickly, just as quickly to drop off again." After the low temperatures in February and March, the asparagus 'exploded' with the arrival of warmer weather. "The large quantities came at the right time, when the appetite of consumers for asparagus was great," says Sandrini. A price collapse like in Germany, where sales of the large volumes stalled, did not occur in Switzerland. The major distributors helped to market Swiss asparagus, Sandrini points out. At the end of the season there was a lack of rain, slowing down growth and making the supplies of asparagus shrink.


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