Peruvian asparagus production woes
Unusual weather patterns in both Peru and Mexico have affected asparagus production and exports, according to the Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association. Specifically, an early March cyclone hit Peru — the first in 40 years. In just one day, the affected regions received a year’s worth of rainfall.
In addition, El Nino is officially here, its heavy rains have negatively affected asparagus production, harvest and logistics in the north. Extreme precipitation has rendered approximately 40 percent or more of the fields to “regrowth” and delayed the harvest. This weather phenomenon of abundant rains has destroyed roads and created mudslides and floods making transportation impossible. In effected areas, cities have been declared a state of emergency wreaking havoc on transportation and causing major delays of logistics.
This weather phenomenon as it collides with El Nino weather conditions have increased growing temperatures to 80-95 degrees in some areas. Average temperatures during this time of the year range from 65 to 70 degrees. High temperatures stress production and trigger lower than expected harvests.
The asparagus import industry has seen a month over month 40 percent decline in production, the forecast arrivals into the United States will continue be lower than expected for the next two to three months. The PAIA membership importers have their sights on a promising fourth quarter as production moves to the south, which has not been affected.