The New Zealand asparagus harvesting season has just begun, but some fields are still partly underwater from recent flooding.
Cam Lewis of Horowhenua's Tendertips Asparagus said they cranked up their packhouse last week, but they had to get to the produce first. "There's still quite a few of our paddocks underwater at the moment, but we're hoping for a good spring," he said. "Last spring was tough, so we're hopeful that we can get a lot of asparagus out to consumers that have been patiently waiting for it. It's normally the sign that spring has arrived, when asparagus is on the shelves."
Still, according to Lewis, chronic labor shortages were affecting were taking a toll on productivity and morale. He said this year's staff shortages had been the worst on record.
Lewis said they were waiting to see whether they would have enough staff to process their produce, but feared they would be running short.