(Feb. 3, 1:33 p.m.) Couture Farms, Kettleman City, Calif., will harvest organic asparagus for the first time this spring.

In addition to 240 acres of conventional asparagus, the company now also has 80 acres of organic production, something the company has been considering for some time, said partner Steve Couture.

“We’ve never been comfortable using herbicides, and this is a natural step,” he said.

Success with other organic crops and the high price of fertilizer contributed to the decision to start organic asparagus, Couture said.

“We’re comfortable raising crops without chemicals and we’re looking at it as a higher return,” he said.