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In anticipation of the arrival of this year’s California asparagus harvest in their stores, retailers can access limited quantities of market-proven sales aids to help them take full advantage of the exceptional profit opportunity offered by the vegetable, according to Cherie Watte, executive director of the El Centro-based California Asparagus Commission. The materials, which include recipe booklets, full-color point-of-sale nutrition cards and merchandising idea sheets, are available at www.calasparagus.com.
All asparagus-growing areas in the Golden State are reporting normal harvest timing and volume prospects, with some growers harvesting already and most expected to begin within the next two weeks, according to the commission. Although California has been unseasonably wet in for the past few weeks, the rain made up for exceptionally dry weather conditions during November and December.
“There was some initial concern about the substantial rainfall, but the beds are in great shape, with the first asparagus just now seeing the light of day,” noted Richard Marchini of Marchini Ag in Stockton, Calif. He expects full production to be underway by the first week in March.
In common with the California Delta region near Stockton, the Salinas area has benefited from the recent rain, with some growers already in full production mode as of late February.