While hop yards in the U.S. are laying dormant during winter, YCH's new family farm partner, Mac Hops NZ is heading into their harvest season which kicks off in March! Brent McGlashen from Mac Hops NZ has provided a boots-on-the-ground Field Report for their 2022 hop crop.

"In another couple of weeks, there will be some empty beds and smelly washing baskets in homes around the Tasman Region in the top of the South Island, New Zealand as we bring in the 2022 hop crop. It has been an exceptional growing year, one not seen by growers for a while. A reasonable winter paved way to a wet spring (seeing a flood that saw the Motueka river reach its 3rd ever highest recorded flow rate). If growers timed their planting windows correctly with drying soils, little did they know that it would form nearly a full yielding baby crop. Once the rain clouds cleared for hop training later October and November there were consistent weather patterns, and hop trainers struggled to keep up with the fast flush of growth. Soils were starting to dry until middle of December for a timely 100mm (4 inches) + rain top up. From then on there were many windless 28-30 deg. C (68-86 deg. F) days for the hops to comfortably push to the top wire by Christmas. Rainfall was very random throughout the growing regions with often some getting short intense falls while other areas, nothing. Extensive light penetration and intensity through the canopy has seen hops in many varieties from "top to toe" and a very pretty sight. Currently (Early February) cones are well into Lupulin production on some varieties while late varieties are just about to come out of burr. Cone size and weights are big this year with the added warm summer rainfalls really feeding them. In a year like this, New Zealand growers are lucky that we have no downy or powdery mildew issues in this part of the world.

All in all, there is a lot of excitement about the quality of the New Zealand crop this year. Hopefully Mother Nature can continue to help out during harvest (pretty much all of March). Stay tuned for more Field Reports from Brent through Mac Hops' harvest season!"