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AG Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: July 06, 2018

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Driving through Yakima County this summer, you will likely see tall trellises supporting hop vines. Yakima County leads US hop production. Recently, I spoke with Steve Carpenter of Yakima Chief Hop Union. I asked Steve what weather makes hops happy:

Steve:

Here in the Pacific Northwest, lots of sunshine, the ideal temperature in the 80 to 90 degree range.

Hops can start having problems when the temperature waivers from the perfect growing conditions.

Steve:

Two spotted spider mites are a major pest. They can dehydrate the leaves and the cones themselves. That female egg laying mite can go through an entire life cycle from egg to egg laying female in about a week’s time when the temperatures get above 100 degrees. On the flip side, aphids are another insect. Typically, those populations explode when you get cooler and more humid.

Hop varieties have evolved with the increase in craft beers.

Steve:

Ten years ago, 70 percent of our hops were alpha hops and 30 percent aroma hops. Now that’s flip-flopped. I would say even 80 percent of the hops we grow here are aroma hops

Next time you hoist a cold one, be thinking of Steve and all the hop growers helping to make it taste just right.

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