There could be fewer hops this year, according to USDA forecasts
There could be fewer hops this season as USDA acreage forecasts show the crop has taken a slight fall compared to a peak seen two years ago.
This year, estimates show just under 55,000 acres are strung for harvest. Last year, U.S. producers harvested about 60,000 acres.
Lance Honig with USDA’s Ag Statistics Service says despite high demand for hops, states like Washington, Oregon, and Idaho saw a drop in acreage, but hops are not just grown there. He says the Department will be reviewing the Census of Ag to see if there are more areas USDA should focus on for reporting.
“Following every Census of Agriculture and of course 2022 was a Census year, which means we’re wading through all of that data right now, looking to finalize things later this year, early next year. Part of the process we always go through is using that information and everything else we have to kind of review all of our commodity programs, the items that we estimate, the places that we estimated year over year. So we’re going to be looking that for not only hops but all the different commodities later this year, into the beginning part of 2024 and that’s always a possibility. We could see some expansion maybe, but we’ll just have to see what the data dictates when we get all of that census data compiled.”
Honig says while several states saw a decline in acres, they will continue to monitor them throughout the growing season to see how that translates into production later on in the year.