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By the numbers: Washington state asparagus production

Purple asparagus, a novelty type that is grown and harvested alongside green asparagus, awaits pickup after harvesting Friday, May 5, 2017 in the field of farmer Gary Larsen, who farms in the Columbia Valley north of Pasco.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Purple asparagus, a novelty type that is grown and harvested alongside green asparagus, awaits pickup after harvesting Friday, May 5, 2017 in the field of farmer Gary Larsen, who farms in the Columbia Valley north of Pasco. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Acres of asparagus grown in Washington state: 4,400 acres

Average yield in pounds per acre: 5,000

Total yield: 22 million pounds

Portion of crop sold on the fresh market: 90 percent

Portion of crop sold pickled or frozen: 10 percent

State’s share of all asparagus grown in the U.S.: about 40 percent (Washington, Michigan and California are the top asparagus-growing states)

Total amount asparagus production contributes to the state’s economy: $50 million

Jobs related to asparagus production in the state: about 3,000, including some 2,200 cutters in the field and about 730 workers in packing sheds

Number of asparagus farms: 60

Number of asparagus farmers: 75

Number of asparagus farms that are family farms: All except one

Approximate start date for Washington state asparagus crop: While the exact year is unknown, asparagus has been cultivated in Washington state for at least 110 years.

– Source: Washington Asparagus Commission

A day in the fields


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