I can see you’re busy today, so I’ll make this quick. Last week, the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service released its June 2020 Acreage Report, which covers Washington, Oregon and Idaho (where most hops are grown in America). Pacific Northwest growers reported an increase of 2,630 acres or 4.65 percent from 2019, for a total of 59,174 acres. That’s insane.
I reported this past February that growers were already trepidatious about adding more acres because the market, like many farming sectors, was prone to such unpredictability — weather, disease, moody beer market swings and now pandemics. 2019 was also a record year for acreage. In fact, the market has almost doubled in the last eight years, and that’s caused problems (read all about them here). Since 2012, U.S. hop acreage has increased a crazy 98.7 percent from 29,683 to (now) 59,174 acres (actually more if you count non PNW states).
Here are the most recent numbers from the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service:
Hop acreage strung for harvest in 2020 for Washington, Oregon, and Idaho is forecast at a record high 59,174 acres, 5 percent more than last year’s previous record of 56,544 acres. Washington, with 42,343 acres for harvest, accounts for 72 percent of the total United States acreage. Idaho area strung for harvest was 9,374 acres, or 16 percent of the United States total, with Oregon hop growers accounting for the remaining 7,457 acres. Acreage increased from last year in all three States.
The top five hop varieties strung for harvest in the United States this year are Citra R, Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus, Mosaic R, Simcoe R and Cascade.
Clearly aroma varieties are popular, and a lot of those finishing hops just don’t get the same yield out of the same acreage as alpha or bittering hops. During the last eight years, varieties has shifted from roughly 50/50 alpha vs. aroma hops in 2012 to 75.4 percent aroma varieties in 2019.
There’s a lot more data, but I was starting to get long winded there. If you want to learn more about 2020’s U.S. hop market, definitely read this story: