For the most part, the 2015 PNW hop crop is harvested and delivered. While faring better than our German counterparts, the crop in the US had its ups and downs as a result of heat and water issues through most of the summer. As stated here earlier, many of the early maturing varieties suffered the most as a result of the challenging growing conditions. The Willamette crop was off in both Washington and Oregon. For the most part, US Goldings, US Fuggles, US Saaz, and US Hallertau were adversely affected by the extreme heat during bloom. Cascades grew well in Oregon and in some parts of Washington, but what appeared to be potentially record yields as harvest neared never materialized. Centennials were a big disappointment in most areas.
Despite the heat, Simcoe® and Citra® performed about as expected and Mosaic® yields exceeded expectations. Amarillo® yields met expectation in northern Idaho, but were disappointing in Washington state overall. There seemed to be more crop issues on land farmed within the Wapato Irrigation District.
Although there was a wide spectrum of alpha analyses and yields depending on the growing region, overall the alpha crop in the PNW was about average. The Nugget crop in Oregon was exceptional for most growers.
Overall quality of the 2015 crop was good to excellent. Weather was as pleasant during harvest as it was challenging during the growing season. Growers in irrigated areas are now anxiously awaiting weather reports as the snowpack this winter will be instrumental in assuring adequate irrigation water for the 2016 crop growing season.
*Simcoe® YCR 14 cv., Citra® YCR 394 cv., and Mosaic HBC 369 cv. are registered trademarks of Select Botanicals Group, LLC (Brand YCR) and/or Hop Breeding Company LLC (Brand HBC).