Reach for the juiciest, haziest IPA you can find and raise a glass: the numbers for the 2019 U.S. hop harvest are in and it’s officially the largest on record.
According to the National Hop Report, released on Wednesday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the 2019 harvest weighed-in at 112 million pounds — a 5 percent increase on last year’s total.
The record-breaking crop came from three states: Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Their combined harvested area rose 3 percent from last year’s total to 56,544 acres, which is also an all-time high.
Not only were hop producers farming larger areas in 2019, their yields also increased. This year’s average hit 1,981 pounds per acre, a 38-pound rise on last year’s figure.
Washington accounted for 73 percent of the crop, with Citra, Cascade, Zeus, Simcoe, CTZ, and Mosaic the six leading varieties in the state.
For hop farmers, perhaps the best news is that the value increase of the harvest outpaced the rise in production. The value of the 2019 harvest totaled $637 million, which is 9 percent higher than last year.
After all that hard work, here’s hoping they’re relaxing with a well-earned beer.