Idaho and the rest of the northwest are growing more hops this year.
The number of acres of hops went up again this year in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The three-state area is forecast to grow a record 55,000 acres. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that’s 4 percent more than last year’s record bumper crop.
Idaho’s acreage went up by 18 percent this year, to more than 8,200 acres. That translates to 15 percent of the hops grown in the country and is the largest increase in the Northwest. Washington grows more than two-thirds of all U.S. hops while Oregon is close behind Idaho at 14 percent.
All this growth is in spite of a record number of hops sitting in storage. Nearly 170 million pounds of the green cones were waiting to be brewed as of March, according to the USDA.
The top varieties of hops grown this year in Idaho are Zeus, Chinook, Amarillo and Calypso.
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