Asparagus lovers will have to live with comparatively little supply and high prices for a while. Demand is still higher than the quantity produced, said Simon Schumacher from the Association of South German Asparagus and Strawberry Growers in Bruchsal near Karlsruhe (VSSE) to the German Press Agency.

This is due to the comparatively mild winter, he explained. Asparagus loves cold winters. Then switch the plant when it warms up and let lots of spears sprout. “Now she has just stuck a few poles out of the ground to test whether they freeze.” This slowed down the start of the harvest. “He was extremely early,” said Schumacher. “But without large quantities.”

Large yields are not expected in the north for the time being either. The reason for this is, among other things, the humid weather. The Chamber of Agriculture in Schleswig-Holstein announced that similar prices can be expected as in the previous year.

It ends at 20 euros per kilo

Prices are therefore only expected to fall once the harvest is in full swing. For example, the Federal Statistical Office recently reported that poles were around 34.6 percent more expensive in April last year than in May. The end of the asparagus season in Germany is traditionally on June 24th, the so-called St. John’s Day.

Customers don’t pay every price either, said Schumacher. There is a limit of 20 euros per kilo of the best sort. In farm shops in particular, you can find something from all types, including much cheaper broken asparagus or those with discoloration. You shouldn’t let that deter you, advised Schumacher. “The appearance says nothing about the taste.”

To drum up advertising, asparagus farms, restaurants and retailers are planning a week of action for the “Asparagus Festival Germany”, which begins with “German Asparagus Day” on May 3rd. Then there should be special offers in many places.

Imports also from overseas

According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 111,900 tons of asparagus were harvested in Germany in 2023, an annual increase of 1.4 percent. After a sharp decline in 2022 compared to previous years, the harvest volume remained at a rather low level last year. 19,300 tons of the vegetables were also imported – the majority (86 percent) from March to June. The most important countries of origin were Greece, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Peru.

According to the information, most of the asparagus was harvested in Lower Saxony, at 22,800 tons, followed by Brandenburg (22,200 tons) and North Rhine-Westphalia (20,800 tons).

Despite a decline of four percent within a year to 20,400 hectares, asparagus was still the vegetable with the largest cultivated area in Germany in 2023, the statisticians explained. Before edible onions (15,100 hectares) and carrots (13,500 hectares).