hop harvest

Idaho Surpasses Oregon in Hop Production and the U.S. May Have Hit a Saturation Point

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The annual Statistical Report from Hop Growers of America suggests that the United Sates may have hit a saturation point and that Idaho has surpassed Oregon in hop production. Pacific Northwest hop production came in at a record 104 million pounds but likely may have peaked according to date from 2017. Data focuses on the three main Pacific Northwest producing states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – and 26 additional states outside of the PNW (approximately 2% of the U.S. production).

 

In addition to featuring USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data reports on acreage; production; yields; average season price and other key stats like the stocks report; the 2017 Stat Pack also tracks trends in aroma and alpha acreage and their corresponding yields; world alpha production and demand; craft and overall favorite varieties; and other industry trends are also highlighted.

 

Notable findings of the data include:

  • U.S. hop acreage has increased 79.5% since 2012; production by 77%
  • For the first time, Idaho has surpassed Oregon in production to become the second-highest hop producing state at 13.2%. Washington and Oregon were at 75.4% and 11.4%, respectively
  • The alpha to aroma/dual purpose hops ratio has shifted from approximately 50/50 in 2012 to 80/20 in 2017
  • Increase in customer demand for aromas has meant an increase in production costs for farms, increasing infrastructure and capacities
  • The yields for 2017 jumped up 14% from 2016 thanks to maturing “baby” (newly planted) hops, and more favorable weather conditions

 

While global hop demand appears to be on the rise thanks to burgeoning international craft beer cultures, many industry leaders cautioned against additional acreage being added in the U.S. for the 2018 crop. All key indicators suggest current aroma hop demand has largely been satisfied by the unprecedented expansion of U.S. acreage in recent years.

 

Conversely, many reports also indicate current global alpha inventories are insufficient for market demands as the global brewing industry has finally worked through decade-long surpluses, which had perpetually depressed the alpha market since 2009. However, the alpha deficit is expected to be satisfied in the near term with the impending transition of certain excess aroma acres back to alpha in the U.S. as well as the recent additions of significant alpha acreage in Germany of the Herkules variety.

 

Industry leaders also encouraged brewers to continue contracting for forecasted hop needs but advised to do so cautiously and pragmatically given the unpredictability of craft consumer demand and the recent slow down of craft volume growth.

 

 

The Stat Pack consists of data from USDA-NASS, HGA, the International Hop Growers Convention, and other industry and government sources. To view the 2017 Stat Pack, visit: usahops.org/enthusiasts/stats.html.

 

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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/

 

HGA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or familial status.

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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