August 2020 Harvest Update
The 2020 hop harvest has begun. Needless to say, it has been a challenging year for brewers, hop growers, and the world in general, as we have navigated our way through lock downs, safety protocols, and anxiety created by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the hops are ripe in the Pacific Northwest, and the focus turns to the business of safely bring them in from the fields to our cold storage facilities on their way to brew kettles across the planet.
Harvest began in Oregon last week and early observations indicate both good quality and yields above the 5-year averages. Growers in general are happy with Cascade and Centennial production as they move into Simcoe® fields. Weather conditions for harvest have been ideal so far and growers are optimistic about quality and quantities as they move into later maturing varieties.
In Washington, harvest is just beginning this week, and most growers will have their harvest facilities in full operation by the weekend. Expectations for quality is high, but there is a wide range of expectations for yield as a cooler spring did not provide ideal growing conditions after training for many varieties. Cascade and Centennial are expected to be lower than 5-year averages. The Simcoe® crop and the Mosaic® crop looks a bit weaker than normal. Citra® looks good in the field at this point. The alpha varieties look about average overall.
Similar expectations exist in Idaho, where harvest is beginning this week also. The Cascade crop appears to be a mixed bag, while growers remain optimistic about Citra® and the alpha crop. Most growers are expecting the Simcoe® and Mosaic® crop to be off slightly from average. Pest pressure has been managed well and excellent quality is anticipated.
Weather has been ideal so far, despite enduring a couple of nasty wind storms in the days leading up to harvest. The mid-range weather forecast appears favorable in all growing areas. It’s early, but in general, a good quality crop is anticipated with overall yields slightly lower than average in Washington and Idaho. As yield data becomes available, we will provide weekly reports on progress.
With COVID protocols in place, we extend our best wishes to growers and their employees across the world for a safe and productive harvest. Stay tuned for more details as we bring the 2020 crop in from the fields.