Asparagus Growers: U.S. Trade With China, Peru is Harming Local Industry

Asparagus farmers in Michigan are struggling this year because of recent trade agreement changes.

Now they’re looking to federal and state lawmakers for help.

As WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids reports, Michigan ranks second in the nation for asparagus production—producing 20 million pounds of the crop each year.

But because asparagus is a specialty crop, it’s not protected by new and pending federal trade agreements.

That has allowed farms in Peru and Mexico to sell their asparagus in the United States for a fraction of the costs, leaving farmers across Michigan with no one to sell to.

In an interview with WOOD TV8Denise Pagura, with Slocum Farms in Oceana County, says it could put them out of business.

“Growers are rethinking their future in this industry because unless we can get our government to take specialty crops and the american farmer in general seriously in our plight, we will not be in business.”

Dozens of Michigan asparagus farmers invited local, state and federal leaders to a discussion Friday to ask for help leveling the field.

The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Todd Greiner Farms packing facility in Hart.