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Looking back on a mixed season

Asparagus season seeing transition as northern Mexico finishes

The asparagus season in northern Mexico has almost finished for the year. Growers are finalizing harvests and will be packing their final boxes over the next week. It's been a mixed season, with variable production bring some challenges along the way. 

"We have one more week to go and then the harvest will be finished," said Bram Hulshoff of Desert Farms. "We only grow in Sonora in northern Mexico and it's been an interesting season. It started quickly with a steep increase in volume in the early weeks as we faced hot and dry conditions. During the peak, production slowed down as cooler weather arrived, before increasing again in the last weeks of the season. 

Hulshoff noted that the drop in production during the peak was beneficial for the crop. "That period of cooler weather in the middle of the season ensured that quality remained good," he said.

Market flat for much of the season
Despite maintaining good quality throughout the season, the asparagus market overall was not very strong. This is due to the rush of product at the start of the season which set the bar for the remainder. 

"At the start, during the hot temperatures, product was coming on way too fast," Hulshoff summarized. "As a result, the market was not prepared for it and prices were generally low. Only in the last few weeks have prices come back to normal levels, due to the tightening of supplies from cooler weather, combined with the Easter pull. Currently, the market is rather quiet as all Easter pulls have passed."

Hulshoff said that although it was a tough season, the company managed to reach its goals and is pleased with the outcome. "Final figures have not been compiled, but it looks as though we were down slightly on volume compared with last year," he observed. "However, thanks to the flourish at the end of the season, we managed to reach the goals we set for ourselves at the start of the season." 

Transition to California
As the desert regions heat up with summer approaching, the bulk of asparagus production will shift north into California. Furthermore, the import season is heating up, meaning that supplies are set to become more diversified in the coming weeks.

"We are currently seeing a transition to Southern California," Hulshoff said. "Miami is also receiving more from Peru as that season picks up. Additionally, the European crops have started, meaning most of the remaining product from Sonora will likely now stay on the West Coast."

For more information:
Bram Hulshoff
Desert Farms
Tel: +1 (209) 221-4704

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