Weiterstadt/Friedrichsdorf (dpa/lhe) The Hessian asparagus farmers draw a negative interim balance this season.

Full warehouses, moderate sales, rising operating costs - according to the Hessian Farmers' Association, this season of noble vegetables will have a negative impact on the balance sheets.

"It's not so rosy at the moment," said the chairman of the working group for asparagus in southern Hesse, Rolf Meinhardt, of the German Press Agency.

He expects a 10 to 15 percent drop in sales compared to the two previous Corona years.

The farmers' association expects sales of the precious vegetable to fall by 20 to 30 percent compared to the average for the past five years.

Because of the sunny days, there is currently a lot of asparagus, said Meinhardt.

"But we can't put it on the market." After the asparagus went on sale at the end of March for just under 20 euros per kilogram of the premium quality vegetable, it is now being sold at a price of 12 euros.

"Asparagus is now much cheaper than in previous years." In view of the price increases for food and energy in recent weeks and months, money is simply not that easy anymore.

In addition, restaurateurs who used to buy asparagus would not have made it through the corona pandemic.

Enough harvest helpers

According to the farmers' association, there is currently a sharp drop in prices for asparagus in wholesale.

At the same time, operating costs would increase for farmers, and energy costs would have doubled.

Asparagus fields are already being taken out of production because fewer sales are being harvested.

According to Meinhardt, he has already sent 30 percent of his harvest workers home.

After two years of Corona, there are now enough workers, there is enough harvest, but people are not buying the vegetables as usual.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, 119,268 tons of asparagus were harvested throughout Germany last year.

The acreage of more than 1,500 farms was 22,283 hectares.

According to the farmers' association, the noble vegetables are grown on around 1,650 hectares in Hesse.

The asparagus harvest in Germany usually begins in the second half of April and traditionally lasts until "St. John's Day" on June 24th.

The official start of the season in Hesse this year was on April 6th.

Due to the almost exclusive cultivation under foil, the harvest time could be extended.