Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) has been grown in the United States since colonial times, but commercial production did not begin until the mid-1800s. Asparagus is a high-value, labor-intensive perennial vegetable crop. Essentially all of the U.S. commercial production occurs in California, Michigan and Washington, and it is harvested primarily from January to June.
About 75 percent of the asparagus produced in the United States was intended for fresh-market uses in 2009 (NASS 2009). The remainder of the crop was canned or frozen. Most U.S. fresh-market asparagus production is of the dark green form, with only minimal production of white (blanched) or light green asparagus, which is produced in the absence of sunlight. In addition to blanching, value-added for asparagus includes the processing of asparagus for pickling, which can bring growers a price premium and can be sold in winter months when prices are higher given lower supply (Ohio State University 1993). September 2011 ... Asparagus
- Asparagus, Statistics by Subject, National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS), USDA.
- Asparagus Fact Sheet, Dole Food Company Inc., Fruit and Vegetable Encyclopedia - Part of Dole Food Company’s Nutrition and Health Program, this program is recognized in the United States and throughout the world as a leader in children’s nutrition education and the 5 A Day for Better Health Program. For adults and children, information on the history of asparagus as a food plant, fun ways to eat it, recipes, selection and storage, packaging and transportation and a number of other topics.
- California Asparagus Commission - The site is intended to provide information to consumers, marketers and industry people. It includes a section for children, as well as sections that include a FAQ, recipes, growing tips, and simple grower profiles Links to all relevant USDA sites.
- Food Availability (per capita) Data System, Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA.
- Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS), Foreign Ag Service, USDA, 2010.
- Michigan Asparagus Commission
- Vegetables, NASS, USDA, September 2011.
- Vegetables 2011 Summary, NASS, USDA, January 2012.
- Vegetables and Melons Yearbook Data, ERS, USDA, May 2011.
- Washington Asparagus Growers - This organization promotes Washington asparagus as a product of unsurpassed quality and nutrition, and funds research that addresses needs of the industry, as well as provides oversight and action to promote favorable trade practices. Sections on growing asparagus, international markets and competition, buyer specification, handling and storage.
- Asparagus Production in California, University of California, revised 2011 - Basic information for commercial asparagus producers, including information on crop climatic requirements, varieties, planting, fertilization, harvest and marketing channels.
- Asparagus Variety Performance, Malheur Experiment Station, Oregon State University, 1999 - Trial of five commercial varieties for commercial production in Oregon.
- Growing Asparagus in Minnesota, University of Minnesota Extension Service, 2005 - This production guide has information on pest management, planting, harvesting, varieties, weeds, diseases, irrigation and nutrient requirements. The Extension Service INFO-U contact line has resources for small-acreage growers and other ag-business resources.
- Growing Asparagus in Oregon, Oregon State University Extension, 2004 - A production guide that covers: seeding transplanting, fertilizers, weeds, diseases, harvesting, handling, storage and pest control.
- Individual Crops-Asparagus -This web site provides links to information on asparagus from University Cooperative Extension or IPM programs in Arizona, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Ohio.
- PlantFacts, Ohio State University - This Web site provides a full-text search engine of all extension and academic department information from all land-grant universities in the United States. Additionally, there are significant image and video databases, an FAQ database and a glossary.
- Specialty Crop Profile: Asparagus, Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009.
- Vegetable Budgets, Fresh Market, Center for Dairy Profitability, University of Wisconsin, 2009 - Enterprise budgets are available for asparagus.
- Vegetable Research and Information Center, University of California Cooperative Extension.
- Shasta Nursery, Susanville, California - This nursery grows asparagus rootstock on sandy loam soil. It is harvested in two segments: one in winter for retail sales and the other in spring for wholesale growers. Rootstock care and growing instructions are provided on the Web site.
- Fresh-Cut Asparagus, Fresh Cut magazine, 2006 - Sheppard Farms' asparagus is grown in New Jersey and packaged in microwavable bags or trays.
- Jersey Asparagus Farms, Inc., Pittsgrove, New Jersey - This company produces Jersey male hybird seed and sells automated grading machinery, planting and harvesting equipment. The site has a commercial planting guide and similar information.
- Pendelton's Country Market Rootstocks, Lawrence, Kansas - Good varietal information on rootstocks suited to the Midwestern United States.
Links checked January 2013.