According to the recent Hop Growers of America 2020 Statistical Report the USA saw a drop in hop production compared with 2019 volumes.
Affected by extreme weather conditions and wildfire smoke across the Pacific Northwest the states of Washington, Idaho and Oregon saw a drop in hop production that was not covered by average to good production in other states. The three states grow the majority of the US crop.
Washington State, home to the Yakima Valley, saw the biggest shortfall with production down by 12.56%, followed by Idaho with yields 8.8% lower than last year.
Average yields in the Pacific Northwest fell to 1,770 pounds per acre (800kg), down 10.6% on 2019.
The report relates how “a severe storm on Labor Day brought sustained high winds, breaking many bines from the trellis and desiccating the ripe hop cones. Serious wildfires erupted as a result of this storm, blanketing much of the Pacific Northwest with heavy overcast skies and sending hop plants into early dormancy due to the lack of sunlight – causing dry cones that saw higher levels of shatter as harvest progressed.”
Despite total production falling 7.29% below that of the 2019 crop commercial U.S. hop acreage had in fact increased by 3.73% in 2020.
As no surprise Citra (HBC 394) has maintained, and even strengthened, it’s position as the most popular hop commanding 18.8% of the total Pacific Northwest acreage, then next most popular hop being CTZ with 10.7% of total acreage. Proprietary hop varieties now account for six of the top ten acreage slots.
The 2020 Statistical Report, produced by USA Hops, also outlined the struggles hop farms have had dealing with the covid-19 pandemic. A number of small growers were forced to close their farms due to the pandemic and resulting drop in demand for locally produced hops from lower than expected beer sales.
Read the full report HERE