Apr 26, 2012
U.S. asparagus industry sees slight recovery

Asparagus farmers crushed for decades by a flood of South American imports have begun to expand production again in the hope that healthy eating trends and demand for homegrown vegetables will help bolster prices and sales of their stalks.

U.S. asparagus production is still only a third of what it was 25 years ago, thanks in large part to a pair of federal policies meant to combat drug trafficking and improve economic trade. A 1991 law exempted some crops, including asparagus, from tariffs to help Andean countries expand their alternatives to drug crops — a boon to fresh and frozen asparagus production in Peru. Three years later, the North American Free Trade Agreement gradually reduced taxes on asparagus, boosting shipments from Mexico. San Francisco Chronicle

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