The weather recorded in the region of Antequera in recent months has allowed asparagus growers in the area to face a very positive campaign if everything remains as it has until now.
Besides these good conditions, there has also been an increase in the acreage, which should serve to compensate for the disappointing figures recorded in the previous campaign.
The cooperative Horticultores El Torcal, of Antequera, expects to produce about 850,000 kilos of asparagus, which is around 90 percent of the total production in the region of Antequera and 40 percent more than last year. This is due, in part, to the fact that the company is going to record a remarkable increase in the acreage, which will amount to more than 200 hectares.
"If the weather conditions are still good by the end of the season, our forecasts will be confirmed. It is necessary for the current spring temperatures to continue," explains the manager of the Antequera cooperative, Curro Pérez.
The harvest of this vegetable started in the last week of February, with some delay compared to the previous season, when the process eventually slowed down due to the low temperatures recorded. For 2017, growers expect to have harvested the entire production by 15 June at the latest, thus meeting their usual deadlines.
Since the campaign is still in its initial stage, market prices are constantly changing and will only reach some stability when most of the asparagus have already been harvested. Thus, Perez assures that the vegetable's average market value will be in line with that of previous years, amounting to around 1.9 Euro per kilo.
Moreover, the asparagus harvest generates plenty of jobs in the region of Antequera. About 400 people will work in the productive process of the cooperative Horticultores el Torcal this season.
The asparagus cultivated by Antequera-based producers are mostly exported to foreign markets, mainly to European countries like Germany or France. The share of the production that is marketed in Spain is very low.
The managers of Horticultores el Torcal are somewhat concerned about the arrival of asparagus from Mexico to the European continent, where this entity distributes most of its production.
However, they remain optimistic in this regard. "Of course we are concerned about the arrival of Mexican asparagus, but the quality is not the same. The vegetables we produce are better and, in that sense, there is nothing to fear if the buyers are looking for a quality product," stated Curro Pérez.