Hop farmers complain of poor harvest and high costs

26-Aug-2022 - Germany

German hop growers are reaping a poor harvest this year. Due to the heat and drought in the summer, the harvest volume of just under 37,700 tons is 21 percent lower than in the good previous year, the Association of German Hop Growers announced Wednesday in Wolnzach, Upper Bavaria. Production costs had risen by more than 25 percent, but sales prices for most of the crop had already been contractually fixed for this year and until 2024, it said. Absorbing the additional costs is therefore very difficult, said association president Adolf Schapfl.

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However, he said, supplies to the global brewing industry appear secure despite the low harvest because there are still stocks available from the good 2021 crop. "So no one need fear that their beer cannot be brewed," the association stressed.

One-third of the world's acreage is in Germany. By far the largest growing area is the Hallertau region south of Ingolstadt.

There, the association estimates this year's harvest at 32,500 tons. There are also larger growing areas in the Elbe-Saale region (2691 tons) and in Tettnang on Lake Constance (2422 tons).

Last year, the rainy summer and increased global beer production played into the hop growers' hands. This year it was too hot and dry for the hops between June and August. The crop is one-fifth smaller, and the alpha content, which is important for flavor and quality, is also lower than last year.

New hop varieties can better tolerate heat and drought stress, he said, and are also less susceptible to disease. "Hop growers would very much like to produce many more of these new sustainable varieties. However, the brewing industry here is proving somewhat sluggish in converting beer recipes to new hop varieties and is taking very few of these hops," Schapfl lamented.

The world's largest beer producers are China, with 36 billion liters, ahead of the U.S. (20 billion liters), Brazil and Mexico. Germany follows in fifth place with 8.5 billion liters, according to BarthHaas of Nuremberg, the world's largest hop specialist./rol/DP/ngu

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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