Hops pro­duc­tion up, but not as ex­pected

Alpine Observer - - News -

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.”

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