Favorable weather conditions and a much improved water situation over 2015 have combined to create a sense of optimism about the 2016 hop crop in the Pacific Northwest. A warm early spring contributed to ideal growing conditions for the large baby crop planted in Washington and Idaho, but also contributed to some challenges in determining ideal timing for training for mature plantings. The result has been some degree of variability in a few areas.
The Reservation area of Washington state which suffered from the extreme heat and lack of water in 2015 looks much improved this year. The Lower Valley, in general, looks good, even with some early bloom experienced in some yards. The Moxee area has some areas of variability, but it looks to be a solid crop.
The Idaho crop looks good and babies look exceptional. There is some concern about the effect of early bloom in some parts of Oregon and Washington, but overall the crop looks like a good one assuming weather conditions remain favorable and pest pressure is manageable.
Centennial is probably the variety most affected by early bloom, but it appears to be improved over last year’s crop. There is variability in the Cascade crop, but it is expected that contracts will be filled. The alpha crop looks strong in most growing regions.
We have several weeks before harvest is upon us, and anything can happen, but at this point there appears to be a good crop developing in the Pacific Northwest. We will update you with more details as the harvest season begins and actual yield data is available.