Harvest is rapidly approaching and the YCH team has been out in the field in all growing regions of the Pacific Northwest assessing the crop. Recent heat has put some adverse pressure on the crop with some areas showing signs of heat stress and some early mite pressure. Smoky conditions in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho from fires burning in British Columbia, Canada has probably helped the crop by keeping maximum temperatures about 3 to 5 degrees F under their maximum potential. It remains to be seen if the smoke has caused any respiration issues with the hop plants.
The Oregon harvest has begun in some areas. The Centennial crop looks improved over recent years. Cascades are spotty, but Nuggets and Willamettes look good. There has been some powdery mildew pressure in some varieties, but the overall outlook for quality is good. The bine growth for Simcoe® and Citra® looks adequate to support a good crop, but it remains to be seen what effect the heat might have on bloom and cone size.
In Idaho, Chinook, Mosaic® and CTZ continue to look strong. Citra® looks stronger than it has in the recent years and Simcoe® looks about average. Most growers appear to be targeting the last week in August for the beginning of harvest.
In Washington, the effects of recent heat appear to be taking a toll in some areas. The Lower Valley area looks generally strong, but heat stress and mite pressure is starting to show in other areas. The effects of the long snow cover is manifesting itself in significant vole/rodent damage in some parts of Washington. Rhizome damage is limiting yield potential in affected yards. The Centennial crop looks stronger than it has in years. Cascades represent a wide range of yield potential depending on region and training dates.
Overall, assuming average weather conditions in August and September, the overall crop in the PNW appears to be average. We will provide regular updates as the harvest progresses.