Hop Products Australia (HPA), the largest Australian hop grower, has completed an AUD 35 million (USD 25m) capital expansion project that involved planting 300 new hectares of in-demand Aussie flavor hops like Eclipse®, Galaxy® and Vic Secret™ as well as constructing a new processing facility.
The 2022 hop harvest, which was also recently completed, resulted in 1,656 metric tons of hops, 130 tons more than the previous year. According to HPS’s newest crop report, this year’s oil content is equal or above the 5-year average for all varieties and the oil and alpha values across the company’s two growing regions, Victoria and Tasmania, were more closely aligned than ever.
However, the endured La Niña weather pattern resulted in distinctly different seasons across the two growing regions. The Victorian farms experienced above average rainfall through winter and spring, about 25% above the long term average for the region, while temperatures were in line with the long term average for the region.
In contrast, the Tasmanian farm experienced below average rainfall through winter and spring, and above average temperatures through spring and summer.
Both growing regions also experienced record low levels of solar radiation, continuing a downward trend for the third consecutive year. Solar radiation is an area of interest since sunlight drives photosynthesis, and it’s possible this could be affecting yield.