The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board seeks to promote the production and consumption of asparagus grown in Michigan as well as to assist in the agricultural research and development of asparagus farming.
Michigan Asparagus Quick Facts
- 220 Michigan family farms raise 25 million lbs of asparagus each year.
- This asparagus has a farm gate value of approximately $18 million and has a total economic impact of $65 million annually to Michigan’s economy.
- Asparagus is a perennial and fields last for 15 or more years. Asparagus plants are started from seed but farmers plant a 1 year old root called a “crown”. From seed it takes 3 years to bring a field into production.
- All Michigan asparagus is harvested by hand and is snapped above ground. Because Michigan’s asparagus is snapped vs. cut (off below ground) it is all green, tender and has almost no waste.
- The average asparagus field is harvested 35 times over an 8 week period.
- Michigan asparagus spears can grow ½ inch per hour under ideal conditions.
- The harvest season in Michigan runs from late April to late June.
- Once harvest is complete the remaining spears are left to grow. These spears grow up to 7 feet tall and are called fern. The fern
captures energy from the sun all summer and stores it in the root system providing for the crop the next spring.
More information on asparagus can be found at www.michiganasparagus.org.