Research underway to expand asparagus storage


Research underway to expand asparagus storage

Adding a few days to asparagus storage would make a significant difference for growers and delay product from flooding the market.

Michigan State University Researcher Randy Beaudry tells Brownfield he currently is studying how to apply cold storage principles for apples with modified atmosphere storage to asparagus.

“We want to try to prevent that price reduction and asparagus spears might be the same quality they were three days ago but because there’s more asparagus spears people pay less for them,” he says. “We want to try to keep that price up so the asparagus spear farmers can stay in business.”

He says fresh asparagus typically enters the market in less than four days from harvest, up to three weeks from when it was picked, and the price has dramatic swings within a season.

“The price can fluctuate fivefold,” he says.

Michigan is the largest asparagus-producing state in the U.S.

Beaudry spoke with Brownfield during the Great Lakes Expo in Grand Rapids.