Despite last year’s reduction in beer sales of about 5% due to the pandemic, hop acreage has been increased this year. Total plantings are 772 ha (+1.2%) higher than in the preceding year. In the light of last year’s crop surplus and provided the beer consumption will still need some time to recover to pre-pandemic levels, the comfortable supply situation for hop products should continue into the new season.
With a total of 32.669 ha, Europe still accounts for 51.7% of the worldwide hop acreage. In its newest market report, BarthHaas predicts an increased hop acreage in Slovenia (+55 ha) and the Czech Republic c (+22 ha), which does not make up for a reduction in Germany (-60 ha) and the UK (-100 ha). Overall this leads to a minus of 93ha (0.3%) in Europe.
Growing conditions for hops in Europe have been difficult. A very cold spring period in April and May delayed vegetation by about two weeks. Long periods of rain, however, have been good for hops, but also for agriculture as a whole, and the groundwater levels are back to normal.
Very warm temperatures with initially only little precipitation since the middle of June were followed by storms with heavy rains towards the end of June. On June 24th a hailstorm ran across parts of the Czech Saaz growing region. A region of approx. 500 ha was damaged to varying degrees, in some cases severely (20 – 100%). Two days later, on June 26th, the Polish growing region around Wilków was hit by a hailstorm, also with heavy damage to some hop fields. Lately, there was also a hail damage in the Austrian region of Mühlviertel and farmers estimate a loss of about one third of this year’s crop.
At this fairly early stage of plant development, it is not possible to make a precise prediction of how this damage will affect final yields and the quality of the crop, reports BarthHaas.
The rising temperatures have fostered Peronospora with first cases reported in the Hallertau region but have also shortened the lag to about one week by the end of June. The risk of bloom before the plants reach the top wire and their full growth potential is real.
Next in the world comes USA with a total acreage of 25.529 or a share of 40.4%. Hop acreage in Yakima was increased this year by another 791 ha (+3.2%), which will increase the gap to the formerly leading growing region of Hallertau in Bavaria, Germany.
The region saw an early heat wave during the second half of June with temperature around 35°C which could have affected baby plantings negatively. However, the water reservoirs holding the irrigation water for agricultural use are well filled so that there is currently no reason for serious concern.
Other growing regions in the world, mainly China, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand that planted hops on an acreage of 4.941ha this year (7.8% of total world hop production) also increased plantings by 74 ha (+1.2%).