Asparagus Season Hurts Local Farmers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Asparagus Season Hurts Local Farmers

WAPATO, Wash.  --  Local farms are getting rid of the last of their asparagus, but the season wasn't as good as they would have liked.

Unseasonably warm weather toward the end of May over-ripened the crop, and quality suffered.  Then too much asparagus hit the market at once, and prices took a nosedive.

The owner of Imperial's Garden in Wapato says he did all right, but that's only because he doesn't have very many acres of asparagus.

Menuel Imperial says, "A lot of the bigger farmers got hit because Del Monte closed down, and a lot of asparagus went to fresh market.  It used to be a lot of that grass went to the cannery."

Imperial says their biggest problem this year is the labor shortage.  He says pickers were constantly driving by last year to look for work, but he hasn't seen any this year.