Hops Beat Heat and COVID Pt 2

Hops Beat Heat and COVID Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Washington grows a vast majority of the nation’s hops, but the past year has tossed a few hurdles in their path, like pandemic closures, drought, and record high temps.

But in spite of it all, Jaki Brophy, with the Washington

Hops Commission, says this year’s crop has set a new acreage record …

BROPHY … “It’s interesting because it seems like for a while we always thought, okay this is the highest the acreage is going to go, because as far as NASS goes, we’ve officially broken, you know, 60,000 acres this year and that’s never happened before.”

Brophy says yes, last year’s bar and restaurant closures hurt, but it seems more people are brewing hop-heavy craft beers …

BROPHY … “You know, things have been a little bit slower because of COVID. However, it seems like now that things are opening up people are to use the phrase, “cautiously optimistic,” you know, happy to see that things are starting to slowly pick back up again.”

And, Brophy says there’s been a lot of exciting work going on in the industry with all the new hop varieties …

BROPHY … “And then also agronomics, for a variety of reasons, like, people are looking for things like drought tolerance or, you know, if they’re more susceptible to a certain disease, have a higher yield so people are more efficient with their land. People are always looking to improve what we can offer.”

Brophy says growers are optimistic of a quicker turnaround than anticipated thanks to demand in the second quarter.

Previous ReportHops Beat Heat and COVID Pt 1
Next ReportNational Farm Medicine Pt 1