Hop Harvest Wrapping Up
The 2013 hop harvest is wrapping up according to Ann George with the Washington Hop Commission. But she says it wasn't without some challenges.
GEORGE: We've had a couple of interesting storms here in the Yakima Valley during harvest - some wind, and some rain, and we did have a little bit of problem with some hop yards collapsing as a result of that. But other than that weather-wise I think it's probably been fine here during harvest for most of the crop.
Hops can be stored for a long time and that can sometimes throw off a harvest if there is still a large amount in storage but some recent changes in the industry have helps smooth out some of those bumps.
GEORGE: One of the things we've seen here in the U.S. that's really been driven forward by the growth in the craft brewing industry is a transition of our acreage from the traditional alpha type varieties that had been the mainstay of U.S. production for many years to more of the aroma type varieties, the flavor type varieties that are coveted by the craft industry. We've really shifted our acreage from roughly 70% alpha and 30% aroma - this year we're at about 50/50 between alpha and aroma acreage.
Craft brewers tend to us considerably more hops in the production of beer and that has really help drive that market.
GEORGE: It's quite a shift so you can see why my growers are interested in paying attention to what the craft industry would like to see.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.