Category Archives: Grower Related

The crisis that can destroy the hop industry

The March 1 Hop Stocks report collected by the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistical Service (USDA NASS) is typically not fully appreciated by anybody and therefore only given a cursory glance. In 2017, however, this is very likely the most significant report you will read until harvest numbers are released. Hidden in […]

How to know the weakest hop companies from the strong ones

Now is the time of year when hop growers and merchants are digging roots and planting new hop fields. The past few years brought with them the longest running bull market in the hop industry. That market created strengths and weaknesses in a lot of companies. Unfortunately, that type of money facilitates a lot of careless mistakes […]

Is a great shakeout coming?

Last week, CNBC published an article about Boston Beer and the coming great shakeout of the craft industry. It may feel like a great shakeout to the corporate craft breweries at the top of the heap, like Boston Beer. They and the largest craft breweries enjoyed hockey stick growth the past 6-7 years. Today, they more […]

American Hop Farmer Strategy “If there’s a bad crop …”

The strategy most often discussed at American hop conventions about a dozen years ago was how “Maybe next year things will be better” or how “if there’s a bad crop in Germany everything will be fine” (no offense ever intended to the German growers of course). Weak prices and a dire outlook for the future introduced plenty […]

The Future of Hop Growing

Automation will likely permeate the future of hop growing, even up to the decision making level. Agriculture is a laboratory for AI and robotics just as every other industry. Autonomous tractors already exist, although they are not yet so common in the hop industry. Everyday we hear news from Silicon Valley about autonomous vehicles on the […]

Changing Market Signals

The growth of craft changed the signals that traditionally guided hop growers and merchants as to what the market needs. The changing market created confusing signals for when to buy, when to sell, when to plant and when to idle acreage. The talk among hop merchants these days is how big brewers contracted for too […]

Opposite Roles

Happy National Opposite Day!! Yes, it’s today! I bet you didn’t even know there was such a day, did you? It seems the hop and brewing industry are ahead of the times. For at least the past 6 months, members of the hop and craft brewing industries are playing opposite roles. Here’s an example … Today, […]

Hop Farming: 6 things to consider when starting a hop farm today

1) You’re a little late to the party. Had you planned your new hop farm a few years ago, you might have had it paid for by now and you’d be enjoying this article from a different perspective. Today, there’s no need for new hop farms, or even new acreage. Anybody planting hops commercially today […]