The 2006 California asparagus crop will be an estimated 765,000 cwt., down 27 percent from 2005, according to a recent CASS report. Harvested acreage will drop more than 20 percent and that, coupled with the tough spring conditions, will reduce overall production.

Spring rains and resulting diseases have helped cut the per-acre yield to 34 cwt., down 6 percent. Nationally, production of asparagus is forecast at 1.45 million cwt., down about 20 percent overall, largely due to problems in California and other production regions such as Michigan.