hop harvest

2016 USA Hop Harvest at Five Year High with 87.1 Million Pounds of Hops

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split hop cone USA Hops

The Hop Growers of America (HGA) is reporting 2016’s USA Hop Harvest was at a five year high with 87.1 million pounds of hops harvested. U.S. hop growers have increased acreage for the sixth year straight and overall production for four years. Conversely, average yields per acre are declining mostly due to new acreage and younger and lower yielding new varieties.



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According to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) report released December 16, production increased 11% in 2016, rising in all three major producing states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Earlier this year, the USDA estimated a 16% increase (91.8 million total rather than 8.3), yet that was calculating only a 3 pound drop in pounds per acre on production despite an estimate of the new acreage being approximately 70% lower yielding popular aromas. Ultimately, 2016 saw a 94 pound drop in production on pounds per acre.


USA Hop Fields


“While some varieties – most notably bittering hop CTZ – didn’t fare as well due to mildew and climatic pressure, brewers are putting in orders for hops that have exciting aromas, but simply do not yield as much per acre,” said Blake Crosby, Vice President of Hop Growers of America and President of Crosby Hop Farm, LLC. “As an industry we are happy to plant these, but more acres are required to deliver the same amount, pound for pound.”


As for meeting the growing demand for breweries, USA Hops is optimistic with the majority of the acreage increase going to high-demand aromas and the USDA NASS stock reports continuing to rise (meaning hops carried over from the previous harvest). Thanks to a long shelf life, hops harvested in 2015 are still great options for brewers.


“As the changing landscape of the hop and brewing industries adjust together, both are working simultaneously to ensure they are communicating effectively through contracts,” said Ann George, Executive Director of Hop Growers of America. “Our growers are working hard to meet what can feel like an insatiable demand.”


“Time will tell when we get later in the year if enough was contracted and planted,” said Crosby. “The line between under and oversupply is a fine one, and it’s not good for anyone – growers and brewers – if it is crossed. People can tend to forget this is an agricultural product that only comes once a year, and a specialty one at that, which requires much planning and preparation. Overall, as an industry we feel good about 2016, but we’ve already moved on and are working on 2017.”


USA Hops hanging


Hop Growers of America (HGA) promotes American grown hops to brewers and industry both domestically and internationally. HGA facilitates conversations between growers, merchants, and brewers, providing statistical reports to the industry and education on the quality, variety, and tradition of U.S. grown hops. For more information, visit: www.usahops.org/


Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]

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