The USDA announced hop acreages are at record levels with 60,735 acres in production this year, 4% more than last year acreage (58,641 acres). Within a pandemic recovery this is encouraging news as hop growers appear to anticipate a rapid return to pre-pandemic demand for hops. Within existing acreage, varieties also fluctuated depending on demand, with an overall rise in aroma and dual-purpose varieties, and a drop in alpha varieties. USDA reports the top five varieties as: Citra, Mosaic, CTZ, Cascade and Simcoe, which make up 53% of the total US acreage.
New York state is investing $300,000 in a new hop breeding programme at Cornell AgriTech. The programme will grow and develop signature NY hop varieties – selected for high yields, preferred flavours and disease resistance, to support the state’s $3.4B craft brewing industry. The programme is led by Larry Smart and integrates AgriTech’s expertise in supporting local hop growers overcome breeding and disease management challenges.