PNW Crop Report: August 2019
August has arrived and hop harvest is just around the corner in the Pacific Northwest. After a late Spring snow melt, the weather has been relatively mild and conducive to good hop growing. So far, all regions have been able to avoid prolonged periods of heat and even though some junior irrigation districts are experiencing rationing due to a light snowpack, the water situation is manageable. Pest pressure has been low and manageable on most hop farms.
Overall, mature hop yards look good in general with few exceptions. The Cascade crop is spotty. Centennials look very good in most regions. Older Citra® yards look good, which should help make up for a baby crop in Washington that never fully recovered after the Yakima Valley experienced late snow cover in March, resulting in late planting. There is wide variability in baby Mosaic® yards, but mature yards continue to bloom and grow through the flowering period providing hope for a good crop.
Much of the baby Sabro® crop was planted earlier than other first year plantings and mature yards look good as growers attempt to keep pace with growing demand. There is heavy bloom in most Palisade® hop yards.
The Nugget crop in Oregon looks robust and CTZ in Washington and Oregon has a good canopy structure and sufficient bloom to support an average to good crop. While Pahto® babies were adversely affected by the late spring, mature yards look good in most regions.
A month remains before all regions will be in full harvest mode, and the weather forecast is calling for hot weather next week, but at this point things seem to be shaping up for a good crop in the Pacific Northwest. We will keep you up to date with weekly reports starting in September.
Late Breaking News: August 12th
A late summer storm hit the Yakima Valley last Friday causing about 200 acres of hop trellis to go down in some areas. Typically, hop yards which fall later in the season can be salvaged to a large degree, but the conclusion at this point is that these hop fields are too far from harvest and due to quality concerns will not be harvested. Initial reports indicate that about 80% of the hops are aroma varieties with the balance being alpha varieties.