Hops and Grapes Production

Hops and Grapes Production

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. After seeing the record-setting numbers from the 2015 state agriculture production figures, it's obvious Washington growers are serious about the adult beverage market.

Both grapes and hops continue to be solid top ten finishers with the increasing number of labels in the wine industry and the steady growth of craft brewers.

Jaki Brophy with the Washington Hop Commission says demand is pushing production from growers up ...

JAKI BROPHY ... "75 percent of the U.S. acreage is in Washington. Just the U.S. acreage overall, previously was about a third of the world's total, that's with Yakima, Oregon and Idaho. And now it's actually more like 40 percent."

Northwest Regional Director of the USDA National Ag Statistics Service, Chris Mertz says that demand helps the bottom line ...

CHRIS MERTZ ... "Hops, with an increase of 34 percent, but in years both 2014 and 2015 hops was the number 10 commodity in the state of Washington with a record of $280-million dollars."

Mertz says the wine industry has also seen steady growth ...

CHRIS MERTZ ... "Grapes is still a top ten commodity. In 2014 it was ranked number 8. It came in at number 9 in 2015. So there was a decrease of almost 2 percent in 2015, but they are still a solid top ten commodity in the state of Washington."

With final harvest numbers yet to be determined, production in both grapes and hops are expected to be higher in 2016.

With a predicted grape harvest of over 258-thousand tons, growers will have double production in just 10 years.

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