Oakes Irrigation Research Site
Carrington Research Extension Center * North Dakota State University
P.O. Box 531, Oakes, ND 58474-0531, Voice: (701) 742-2189, FAX: (701) 742-2700, email: rgreenla@ndsuext.nodak.edu

Richard Greenland and Heidi Kerlin

Results summary

Table 71. Asparagus yield and spear numbers.


This study was established in 1992 on a Hecla sandy loam soil that had been in fallow (or weeds) the previous two years. Spring soil tests showed this site to be high in K, medium in P and low in N. The soil pH was 7.8 and soil organic matter was 1.3%. The area was disked in the spring of 1992 and 200 lbs of 10-50-0 per acre was incorporated using a multiweeder.

Six hybrids of asparagus were planted, four from seed and two from bare roots. Seeds of Jersey Gem, Jersey Giant, Jersey King, and Jersey Knight were planted about 0.75" deep into 1.5" by 1.5" by 2" (deep) plugs filled with Jiffy Mix on March 18. These plugs were kept on a hotpad until the asparagus began to emerge on April 1, then they were moved into the greenhouse. Emergence was excellent (>97%) for Jersey Gem, Jersey Giant, and Jersey King. Jersey Knight had only 75% emergence.

One-year-old bare-root plants of SYN 4-56 and SYN 4-MD10 were planted in the field on April 23 and the seedlings (from the greenhouse) were planted on May 18, 1992.  Rows were spaced 5 feet apart.  Plants were spaced 1 ft apart in the rows. The plants were placed in 8" deep furrows.  Roots were covered by two to three inches of soil. Seventy-one lbs of 21-0-0-24 per acre were banded on top of the row and covered with about ½ inch of soil. An additional 53 lbs N per acre as urea was banded in the furrow on 21 July. The furrow was filled in during the season as the plants grew. All plants grew vigorously the first year with very little, if any, loss from transplanting, etc. Old growth was flailed early spring 1993. The field was hand weeded, irrigated, and fertilized (37 lbs N/acre on July 21) that year. No harvesting was done in 1992 or 1993.

The plots were split into two subplots in 1994. Harvesting began on one subplot in 1994 and on the other one in 1995. The 1994-begin-date subplots were harvested six times in 1994. All asparagus was fertilized with 45 lbs N/acre as urea and 115 lbs 21-0-0-24 per acre on May 24, 1994. For the rest of the summer, the field was drip irrigated, cultivated (between rows), and hand weeded as needed. We followed normal production practices in 1995 through 1997.

In 1998, we flailed the old stalks on March 27 just as soon as the snow melted. On April 23 all asparagus was fertilized by broadcasting 10 lbs N/acre and 50 lbs P2O5/acre as 10-50-0, 21 lbs N/acre and 24 lbs S/acre as 21-0-0-24, and 32 lbs N/acre as urea. We broadcasted 47 lbs N/acre as urea on June 26. We sprayed Sinbar (2 lbs/acre on April 14) for weed control. The field was rototilled between the rows on May 7 and June 22 and hand weeded. During the summer the field was irrigated as needed. The 1998 harvest included all subplots. The plots were harvested 29 times from April 30 through June 11. Number of spears, spear characteristics, and yields are given in Table 71.


Jersey King was the highest yielding asparagus for the fourth straight year. Jersey Giant and Jersey Knight also had good yields. The yield difference was due to spear size. The Jersey hybrids had fatter spears than the other hybrids. Whether we waited two years or three years to begin cutting did not affect anything this (the sixth) year.

Return to top of Asparagus Performance Trial.

Table 71. Asparagus yield and spear numbers in the Oakes Irrigation Research Site 1998 asparagus preliminary trial.
Name Seed source Marketable Spear
Yield number size height diameter
1000 lbs/A 1000s/A oz/spear ----- inches ------
Jersey Gem JAF 3.29 65.2 0.88 9.0 0.61
Jersey Giant JAF 4.29 81.5 0.88 8.8 0.60
Jersey King JAF 4.94 87.1 0.94 8.8 0.61
Jersey Knight JAF 3.74 69.9 0.90 9.0 0.60
SYN 4-56 NR 2.86 69.3 0.69 8.9 0.56
SYN 4-MD10 NR 2.76 65.9 0.75 9.0 0.55
LSD (0.05) 1.05 NS 0.14 NS 0.03
C.V. (%) 30 25 16 3 8

See appendix A for seed source codes.

Return to top of Asparagus Performance Trial

Go to Oakes Irrigation Research Site Variety Performance Trials

Go to Oakes Irrigation Research Site 1998 annual report

Go to Oakes Irrigation Research Site crop index

Go to Oakes Irrigation Research Site home page