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A new variety of asparagus is born

Researchers at the University of California Riverside have crafted a new variety of asparagus that should be cheaper to grow in North America. At the same time, it boasts "excellent spear quality" and tastes the same as the asparagus on the market.

Named "DePaoli" after William P. DePaoli, the first manager of the California Asparagus Commission who long supported the asparagus breeding program in the state, the superior hybrid marks the third vegetable released by the university.

The new variety, a hybrid bred from existing varieties of the vegetable, will essentially be more resistant to the vagaries of weather and water in North America and thereby give farmers in California a better chance at competing globally. Growing conditions are more optimal in Latin America, where labor is cheap too. Latin American nations also often more lightly regulate pesticide use.

The university said that it will take a number of years before the new variety comes to market.