Every single beer on the market today contains hops and that alone makes the progress of the each year’s hop crops super-important.
To prosper hops need long days and short nights and the right amount of moisture at the right time. Because of that, most commercial hop production takes place between 40 degrees and 50 degrees latitude in regions around the world.
Changing conditions including factors like the weather can significantly impact the hop harvest. And with that in mind UK Hop Merchants Charles Faram have released a mid-season hop report on some the world’s key hop growing regions.
And here’s how things are looking in key regions starting with Germany which has two important hop growing areas, Hallertau in Bavaria and Tettnang in the southern Baden-Württemberg region of Germany.
Germany — Hallertau
It was mild winter, with very few cold days. January and February temperatures were 4º C (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 30-year average, and those higher-than-average temperatures continued into May, with lower rainfalls.
June was a little cooler than average, but fortunately they have had significant rainfall, and higher temperatures are forecast. Overall growth in this important region is slightly behind expectations.
Germany — Hallertau
In spite of a ‘hot’ winter with temperatures well above average there’s been plenty of rain. Growth is strong, according to Beer Today with plants well ahead of where we would expect them to be and more rain in the forecast.
A mild winter, with little rain and a very small amount of snow, caused some concerns according to Will Rogers, group technical director, Charles Faram & Co Ltd…
“The weather normalized in early spring arrived, but the arrival of COVID-19 led to field worker shortages in the Czech Republic. To counter this, Czech hop growers started work in the hop fields two to three weeks early.”
And cooler weather than is necessary in June has led to slower growth of plants.
United States – Washington, Idaho, and Oregon
All three states of the US’ key hop growing region experienced a cooler-than-normal spring with the summer forecast calling for hot and dry weather.
Growers are pleased with this year’s growth’s progress, but concerns remain about potential forest fires, which have ruined crops in the past…
And just as in the Czech Republic, there are labor concerns especially in Yakima County which has been a hot spot for Covid-19. But it’s expected that the plants which were babies and underperformed last year, will produce full yields in 2020.
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