Elsoms has introduced Erasmus, a new asparagus variety which has the potential to transform the economics of purple asparagus growing within the UK. Developed by Bejo Zaden, the world’s first 100% male hybrid purple asparagus, Erasmus, delivers excellent quality spears at yields two to three times those of alternative purple breeds, offering comparable performance to leading green varieties.
Rich in antioxidants and low in lignin, tender purple asparagus has considerable consumer appeal but has historically been associated with low yields and demanding fern management. Well suited to the UK climate, Erasmus offers enhanced performance in both areas. Its introduction is therefore extremely valuable to UK growers who have seen margins squeezed over recent years by unseasonal cold spring weather and rises in the living wage.
‘Erasmus was first planted in the UK in 2012 at Hargreaves Plants Ltd, a globally renowned asparagus testing facility.’ said Marie-Laure Bayard, Asparagus Specialist at Elsoms. ‘We now have full maturity, statistically-relevant data (5 times replicate) that confirms that yield exceeds our expectations. Not only does Erasmus outperform all other purple varieties, it offers yields that are similar to those of leading green varieties. Furthermore, it appears to have slightly improved standing ability, though fern support is still necessary. The spears produced are of excellent quality – dark purple, straight, and with good tip closure.’
The new variety is now available in seed form. To find out more about Erasmus and its crop management or to order seed please contact Marie-Laure Bayard on 01775 715000 or email email@example.com