Washington Asparagus Harvest Starts Early - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Asparagus Harvest Starts Early

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PASCO, Wash.-- Washington's asparagus crop is sprouting early for many local farmers.

Asparagus is one of the first crops of spring and this year it's showing up a little early.

A Pasco asparagus grower said several farms saw the crop sprout about a week early.

The extra time will allow farms to start slow and ramp up for the peak season by hiring workers earlier, cutting more asparagus and saving more from the harvest.

Farmers said asparagus is one of the hardest crops to grow, so the earlier harvest makes for a good start to the season.

"Farmers getting their people in. They can tie those fields up. People are out there. They're ready to work. They can go in and they can start capturing those early pounds," said Gary Larsen, asparagus farmer at Larsen Farms.

Larsen adds that the price of asparagus went up over the past two years because there are fewer acres being grown, creating a higher demand.

Larsen said he produces 2.5 million pounds of asparagus a year and brings in over $1 million in profit.

Larsen also said Washington asparagus farmers are competing with growers in Mexico and California and every extra day they get counts.