Big hop crop grown in 2017

The annual hop production report from U.S. Department of Agriculture looks like it could be good news for West Virginia’s small and independent brewers. The big harvest should help keep prices reasonable and availability good.

USDA said that 2017 hop production was up 20 percent over 2016.

They reported that production for Idaho, Oregon, and Washington totaled a record high 104 million pounds, up 20 percent from the 2016 crop of 87.1 million pounds. Combined area harvested for Idaho, Oregon, and Washington in 2017 totaled a record high 53,282 acres, up 5 percent from the 2016 level of 50,857 acres.

Washington produced 75 percent of the United States hop crop for 2017, while Idaho accounted for 13 percent and Oregon accounted for 11 percent. The 2017 crop year marked the first time Idaho hop production surpassed production in Oregon.

In Washington, Cascade, Centennial, Zeus, Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic were the six leading varieties, accounting for 54 percent of the State’s hop production.

In Idaho, Zeus, Cascade, Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra, and Chinook were the major varieties, accounting for 69 percent of the State’s hop production.

In Oregon, Nugget, Cascade, Willamette, and Citra were the major varieties, accounting for 53 percent of the State’s hop production.

Some varieties show big increases

Just spot checking the report for the newer varieties, Azacca seemed to have among the largest production jumps. It’s only reported as grown in Washington, but its production increased by over 477,000 pounds from the previous year. Comet, El Dorado, and Mosaic also saw increases. Equinox produced one of the higher yield-per-acre numbers last year with 2,740 pounds per acre.

Among more common varieties, big increases were seen in Citra, Zeus, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Summit.

The 2017 value of production for the United States totaled a record high $618 million, up 24 percent from the previous record high value of $498 million in 2016.

No figures were included in the report for hops grown in West Virginia or any of the surrounding states.

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