Hops production up, but not as expected
REPEAT periods of heavy rainfall and wind have forced Hop Products Australia to miss their expected production increase of 21 per cent.
The 2017 harvest report instead revealed a 10 per cent rise, which sales and marketing manager Owen Johnston said was still good news.
“The really good message is we’re still growing, we’re up 10 per cent on a four per cent increase in acreage,” he said.
Mr Johnston added that the total production of 710 tonne from Eurobin’s Rostrevor farm and new sites in Buffalo River was a significant rise from 2017 when 580 tonne was picked.
Across HPA’s Victorian and Tasmanian locations 542.7 hectares of crop were harvested for a total yield of 1,312,673kgs, up from 1,188,801kgs in 2017.
“The quality has stood up really well, we are on our five year average for the active ingredients; alpha acid and oils which is excellent,” Mr Johnston said.
Almost 60 per cent HPA’s most popular Galaxy variety was grown in the Ovens Valley.
The Galaxy yield performed well but the Cascade, Enigma and Super Pride crops fell short of expectation forcing minor negotiations to their contracts.
Hop Products Australia managing director Tim Lord said given the production shortfalls of the highly contracted 2018 harvest, only a limited volume of hops would be available for on the spot market through HPA and the Barth-Haas Group.
“As we look towards crop 2019, the current global demand for HPA proprietary varieties continues, despite some indicators of slowing segments in the important USA market,” he said.
“Further to this we see Australian domestic consumption continuing to increase and domestic brewing customers are encouraged to proactively communicate their changing requirements.”
HPA will look to eliminate some small volume varieties and increase their production of craft brewers’ favourites.
“After years of agronomic assessment, and lots of trials brews, we are now poised to release some new flavour forward varieties that are yet to be named,” Mr Lord said.
“We have thousands of plants in pots ready to be planted in the spring and will be making announcements as these new varieties become available.”