Environment
4:27 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Northwest Asparagus To Pop Up Within Days, Other Crops Springing Too

The Northwest spring is getting off to a wet start. But Eastern Washington farmers appear to be right on schedule. 

Asparagus is the herald of spring. That’s because the crop depends heavily on soil temperature to sprout.

Farmer Alan Schreiber says if he and his neighbors harvest asparagus before April 5th it’s an early year. If they harvest after April 15 it’s late.

So far, it looks like the green and purple spears will pop up right on time. Schreiber says growers have been out in the field working for more than a month.

“We’ve gone two weeks ago from being a little on the slow side to we’re running full tilt," Schreiber says. "At our location we are going six days a week, all day long.”

Tree fruit, blueberry and grape farmers say they are trying to protect delicate blooms and buds from frost by using heaters and wind machines. Alfalfa, corn and wheat farmers say their crops are greening up nicely but likely won’t take off until mid-May.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio