Harvest has begun! All the work, worries, and hopes by PNW growers has led to this one, big final push to get all the hops off the bine and in the brewhouse.
Growers in the Willamette Valley started harvesting last week with the typical early harvest varieties like Centennial. Yield reports so far are good, and with the help of Mother Nature (no rain!) most expect to be wrapping up in 4-6 weeks.
Most growers in the Yakima Valley will be starting this weekend through mid-week. A few growers may have started earlier depending on dry matter analysis of their cones or in response to pest pressures. Overall, we’re looking at a good yield, notwithstanding the issues we’ve mentioned with baby hops and a spotty Cascade crop. Amarillo®, Centennial, Cashmere, and Willamette all looked robust during this week’s field walks. Again, as long as the current weather forecast holds, we’re expecting a strong crop. Early varieties such as Centennial have already started arriving at our pellet mill and we’re ready to begin processing.
Submitted by Chad Kennedy, Hop Specialist – BSG Hops