ASPARAGUS CULTIVAR EVALUATION IN ARID CENTRAL AUSTRALIA
Cultivars of Californian origin, particularly UC157 F1 and Ida Lea F1, performed better than those of New Jersey and Dutch origin. UC157 F1 and Ida Lea F1 recorded the highest marketable yield of 3.11 and 3.01 t/ha and percent marketable spears of 69.0 and 71.8 respectively. The highest mean spear weight (19.9 g/spear) and the lowest anthocyanin scores and percent culls seedy (or blown) were recorded by both cultivars. UC157 F1 and Ida Lea F1 commenced spear production by 27 July, 1987 produced 50% of the total harvest of marketable spears by 31 August, 1987 and completed the harvest by 14 September, 1987.
Based on the above results, UC157 F1 and Ida Lea F1 are suitable for commercial production of early asparagus in Central Australia.