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Asparagus growing season in Caborca Mexico looks promising

The Caborca region in Mexico is an important supplier of green asparagus for the North American market. “It is our main growing area for asparagus,” says Bram Hulshoff with Desert Farms, a subsidiary of Horticola Del Desierto. Although the harvest season runs from December to April, Hulshoff provides a preview of growing conditions in the most high-density asparagus region of Mexico.

Production numbers likely to be slightly up from last season
“The asparagus plants are looking very healthy and so far, the conditions during the growing season are favorable,” said Hulshoff. “At the moment, we are putting our efforts into maintaining the fields and applying fertilizers. Last season, asparagus production numbers were historically low, but for this year we expect production to be a bit stronger.” 

Photo: current state of asparagus field in Caborca region

El Niño impact
As in many cases, weather is going to play a major role in final production numbers. “With predictions for El Niño, the month of December could cause problems,” according to Hulshoff. “Cold weather is not a problem in December as the plants are still in their dormancy stage, but warmer weather and/or storms could negatively affect the crop. During harvest in January, we need warm weather as cold weather negatively impacts growth.”

Lengthening the growing season
Desert Farms grows about 3,700 acres of asparagus in the Caborca region, a popular area for asparagus. As a result, competition is high and prices traditionally go down during the peak time of harvest. The company is looking to expand into other asparagus growing regions to extend its harvest season with a few months. “This would also allow us to offer our customers a longer window of supplies and provide a longer duration of employment for our seasonal employees,” mentioned Hulshoff.

Domestic and export markets complement each other
Desert Farms has two packing houses in Mexico and from there, the asparagus is transported to the company’s warehouse in Brawley, CA. From this distribution center, the product is trucked across the US and into Canada. About 25 percent is exported by air freight to Europe and Asia to a smaller extent. “The domestic market and export market are very complementary,” said Hulshoff. “The North American consumer prefers thin asparagus while consumers in our exports markets prefer the thicker counterpart.”

Please stop by our booth #2725 at the PMA Fresh Summit.

For more information:
Bram Hulshoff
Desert Farms 
Subsidiary of Horticola Del Desierto
Tel: (+1) 925-463-9800

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