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Ag Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: May 25, 2018

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Earlier this week, I talked with Gary Larsen who is harvesting asparagus north of Pasco. When we last visited Gary in late March, his asparagus had yet to poke through the ground. For the most part It’s been a good season.

Gary:

We get a couple warm days here and there and then it cools back off to optimal asparagus growing conditions.

In late April, a wind storm with gusts to over 50 mph caused damage to three days worth of harvest.

Gary:

When you get a sustained wind like that for four to five hours, the ground starts moving, even though we do our best to stop it. And what it does is makes it curl over. Then the heads are full of sand. So all we can do is cut it and put it on the ground.

Gary said when temperatures get above 85 it affects the asparagus.

Gary:

It causes the spear tips to open up a little bit and its not that tight head. It doesn’t affect the taste, it’s more of an appearance thing.

They do have ways to mitigate the hot weather as long as it doesn’t get too hot.

Gary :

We can control it by putting a lot of water on it and if we can lower that ground temperature by a couple degrees, it’ll slow it down. But when you get 95 to 100 degrees, there’s not much you can do with it.

Gary has a tip for what to look for to get the best and freshest asparagus at the market.

Gary:

It’ll actually say Product of the USA. In the state of Washington, just about everybody has on their rubber bands Product of Washington.

Thanks to Gary Larsen of Larsen Farm for an update on the asparagus crop.

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