Laura SiegleSTATUS AND OUTLOOKON HOPS IN VIRGINIAAmelia CountyAgricultureExtensionAgent


EXTENSION SUPPORT FOR HOPSServices Disease ID-eg, downy mildew tracking Soil testing-Code 75 for hops Agent farm visits Soil, farm, plant, system, budget troubleshooting Pesticide applicator certification andrecertification Pubs: soils, fertilizers, irrigation, etc Hops Testing Service

CURRENT EXTENSION HOPS PROJECTS 2013 and 2014 Brewer Survey2014 Grower SurveyUniversity CollaborationBudget/Breakeven Analysis?Extension Publications on HopsVSU Program

HOPS PRODUCTION IN THE US Washington: 29,021 acres Oregon: 5,559 Idaho: 3,812 Virginia?

ASSESSING INDUSTRY SCOPE IN VA 46 ResponsesGrower ClassificationI am growing hops commercially/Iintend to sell my hopsI am currently growing hops for mypersonal use/for non-commercialpurposesI am not yet growing hops, butplanning on itOtherPercent of RespondentsMatching Criteria48%24%24%4%

MATURIT Y OF VA HOP YARDSYears Growing Hops121086420Number of Respondents

HOP VARIETIES GROWN IN VAGalena2%Hop Varieties Grown in VirginiaMagnum*Other2%9%Centennial2%Total number ofplants reported:13,317Willamette2% CTZ8% Chinook4%Nugget6%Cascade65%*Other: Seventeen other varieties were grown in small numbers, often by only one survey respondent. To protectprivacy of yield data for these individuals, any variety with fewer than 50 plants in the state OR any variety thatwas grown by one respondent was lumped into one total in this "other" category. This category also includes datafrom growers who reported plants but did not specify varieties or data by variety.

“OTHER”*Other: Seventeen other varieties were grown in small numbers, often by onlyone survey respondent. To protect privacy of yield data for these individuals,any variety with fewer than 50 plants in the state OR any variety that wasgrown by one respondent was lumped into one total in this "other" category.This category also includes data from growers who reported plants but did notspecify varieties. Brewer’s Gold, Columbia, Sterling, Horizon, Millenium,Newport, Perle, Sunbeam, etc, etc,

HOW DID YIELD STACK ialGalenaMagnum*Other**Total YieldPounds Harvested (Wet)56672101871291040019028109 Pounds (Wet)

WHY NOT ACRES? Row/plant/trellis spacing Accuracy problems associated with guessingfractions of acres We know that acreages are small, but growers arevaried and numerous and we want data to representthat.

HOW ARE PEOPLE SELLING THEIR HOPS? Of the 8,109 pounds harvested: 64% were sold wet. 11% were sold dried 10% were sold pelletized.For the remaining 14%, hops were not sold or thegrower did not indicate the form in which they weresold.

HOW MANY OF YOU ARE EXPANDING? 24 growers reported plans to expand in 2015. They provided estimates indicating a collectiveincrease of 7,760 to over 8,000 plants to theexisting total. Up for Discussion: Can market handle theincrease? More on that later.

FINDING BUYERS 11 people reported that they were able to sell their entire2014 crop. 10 people reported that they were unable to sell their entire2014 crop. These individuals provided the following reasonsthat hop crop was not sold: Hops did not produce enough to sell Too many wet hops were ready at one time No buyer was available Grower lacked time, resources, and/or knowledge to market crop Demand Holding hops for later sale

HOW ARE YOU MARKETING YOUR HOPS?Number of Growers Using thisMethod7Marketing MethodMeetings with brewers4Emails4Phone calls3Word of mouth2Social media2Brewer visits to hop yard1Outreach to brewing clubs

WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?9TimeNot as much available time as desired for chores9MarketingProduct quality, coordinating delivery of wet hopswith brewer, demand from buyers8LaborParticularly challenging during spring chores andharvest; also costly8Labor and time-intensive, even when mechanized5HarvestefficiencyCost5Weeds4DiseaseSome worried about downy mildew3InsectsSeveral specifically mentioned Japanese beetlesMost challenging cost appears to be yardestablishment

WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?3Lack of industry &university resourcesLocal information not readily available;difficulty finding plant material3Beginning grower"learning curve"Some noted that getting started and learningto manage hops was a challenge of its own2Pesticide selectionUncertainty about products labeled for use onhops; no VA hops pest management guideavailable2RhizomeestablishmentCertain growers experienced rhizome failure1FertilizerGrower still learning and adjusting to plantneeds1Irrigation1Processing afterharvestProcessing equipment/facility would behelpful for drying, pelletizing

WHAT’S YOUR OUTLOOK ON THEMARKET?Industry Outlook RatingsStrongCurrent demand forVirginia-grown hopsGoodFairFuture growth of theVirginia-grown hopsmarketWeak051015Number of Respondents2025

SUMMARIZED COMMENTS Relationships with cooperatives, fellow growers, and farmingneighbors are valuable. Local potential for growing and selling hops seems good. Connecting with brewers could be a challenge for some. Several growers were very pleased with 2014 harvest and lookforward to adding new plants and/or varieties. Consumers are interested and excited about locally -grown hops Some brewers have already locked up local suppliers and first time grower had difficulty finding outlet. Marketdevelopment/assistance from grower group could mitigate this.

SUMMARIZED COMMENTS Mechanized harvest is a necessity in the future, especially forlarger yards. Demand for Virginia hops seems strong. Several growers are pleased with Virginia CooperativeExtension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State Universityinvolvement in the industry. Several growers are re -evaluating variety selection in light of2014 performance. Cascade remains popular. Brewers are becoming acclimated to the considerationsneeded when working with Virginia growers and wet hops.

SUMMARIZED COMMENTS Having the capability to dry and/or pelletize hops in the futurewould be helpful. Current cost per pound of wet hops is too high for mostbrewers. Brewers may be able to attain an acceptable marginif cost of wet hops decreased to 10 or less per pound. Influx of breweries is increasing demand; brewers want freshhops; brewers are interested in local hops. Competition between growers and lack of brewer willingnessto use wet hops could negatively af fect demand and outlook. Hops may not be profitable if demand is low and/or buyerscan get them cheaper elsewhere. Only a handful of growers released a local hopped beer thisseason.

Number of GrowersRequesting ResourceRequested Resource4Shared harvesting equipment4Pest Management Guide3Hop breeding and research program2Hops production/management guide2Packing/drying facilities and services1Post-harvest handling guidelines1Faculty specializing in hops1Local rhizome source1Product approval system1Method to inform/educate VA brewers about VA hops1Great accessibility and feasibility concerning patented varieties1Tissue testing service1Outlets for developing and marketing alternative uses for hops


WHY DID BREWERS BUY VA HOPS?Price was reasonable1I prefer/value wet hops for brewing a harvest beer2Supply was good/easily accessible4I value local products3Customer value local products3Using local hops allowed me to get a premium on beers usinglocal products1Quality of local hops was good2Relationship with local grower(s) motivated me to try local hops3I am interested in supporting the local hops growing farminginitiatives4

WHY DIDN’T BREWERS USE VA HOPS?Price of VA hops is too high2Supply of VA hops is too low1I need/prefer pellets4Customers are indifferent about local products1I need to know more about how local hops are grown1I need a consistent supply of hops year-round3Other2

COMMENTS FROM BREWERS “Quality control and analytics needed” “Analysis not available this year from my suppliers .” “Education. Need to educate your target clients.”

COMMENTS FROM BREWERS “Availability, variety, type (pelletized), and price are allimportant to our business. Increased availability and variety,dried and pelletized hops, and lower prices would definitelyallow us to purchase locally.” “Better prices and availability of pellets would increase myinterest in local hops .” “The industry will not become a viable Agri -business withoutproper harvesting, drying, processing, and packagingequipment becoming more prevalent. Brewers prefer to use T 90 pellets, that the long and short of it. Until theinfrastructure exists to provide us with them , the VA hopindustry will remain a wet hop industry.”

COMMENTS FROM BREWERS “I'm not aware of any places to go buy hops. After reading thisemail I'll probably go find some growers and see if they willsell smaller quantities” “Just have not met any growers.” “I'm not aware of any hop growers but I have not spent anytime searching for them yet. Will do soon though.” “The choices above reflect our brewery's decisions to notpurchase local, price, need pellets, more varieties, etc. Theother bit of feedback we can of fer is the lack of knowledge ofthe local industry. We've heard from a few Virginia -basedgrowers, but we are un-aware of the availability that is outthere. Is there a Virginia Hop Grower's Association orsomething we can be directed to?”


WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Respond to brewers: “How do I find hops in VA?”Continue networking and collaborationOf fer a high-quality product and a good reputationFind, build, & maintain your market

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RESOURCES FOR GROWERS NC Hops Project -vari ety data and other resources / NC Herb website -hops production presentations / Uncorking Possibilities scholar site -contains resources for wine, beer, ciderproduction-contact Loudon Extension to be added Univer sity of Kentucky pub: g/CCD/intro sheets/hops.pdf Basic info about how hops grow and how they are produced in the PacificNor thwest-good place to star t to under stand the back ground and needs ofthe crop: content/upl oads/jason -presentati on.pdf Beer Legends website with lots of hops basics and instructions:


hops; no VA hops pest management guide available 2 Rhizome establishment Certain growers experienced rhizome failure 1 Fertilizer Grower still learning and adjusting to plant needs 1 Irrigation 1 Processing after harvest Processing equipment/facility would be . Hops