After the extraordinary asparagus year of 2018, with unusually high spring temperatures, a very compact season and a partially exhausted market at the beginning of June, and - which wasn't expected at the beginning of the season - even a new record crop: 133,000 tons harvested in 2018 in Germany. This was 3,000 tons more than in the record year of 2017 and 13,000 tons more than in 2016. It was a season that demanded much of the power reserves of the asparagus plants.
Nordbaden: Early crops with multiple coverages
But the prospects for the current season are certainly good. Since the first weekend in March, there already are German asparagus from heated fields. "We are seeing the first small batches of our producers in Bavaria, Nordbaden and Lower Saxony. The decisive factor is the moment when a company started to heat the earth," says Hans Lehar, Managing Director of the OGA / OGV Nordbaden. "At the end of March, we expect to start harvesting early crops from covered and mini-tunnel cultivation. However, the decisive factor will be the amount of sunshine in the next few days. If the sun will shine in the next several days, after the "cold stimulus" that the asparagus root has experienced over the winter months, we expect to see them grow rapidly." He is certain:" At Easter this year, there should be a sufficient supply of German asparagus available - assuming normal weather conditions."
Palatinate: season opens 10 days earlier
In the Palatinate also, things are shifting in the soil. Hans-Jörg Friedrich from the Pfalzmarkt for Fruits and Vegetables is currently assuming the first asparagus will be there from mid-March: "We are already talking about the first asparagus deliveries around 15 March. Normally, we counted on asparagus in week 13, that is from March 25th onwards."
Rhineland: First free-range asparagus from mid-April
And the West is ready to go as well. "With partly very mild temperatures and a lot of sun, February has contributed to a significant shift in the beginning of the harvest this year. This week, the first asparagus from heated cultivation will arrive in the Rhineland. Landgard expects to see the first asparagus from tunnel cultivation at the beginning of April. If our forecasts are correct and there are no more severe cold spells, the first free-range asparagus is expected to be harvested from mid-April onwards," said Labinot Elshani, chief representative of the Landgard eG.