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Old 02-07-2012, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default State of the hops growing industry, 2012

from GLH's FB page:

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Quick update from Jeff Steinman who just came back from the American Hopgrowers Association meeting out West. Willamette yards are being torn out (been about 15 years in production) so watch for a lot of cheap high virus rhizomes to hit the market. Also, the trend is shifting away from a singular focus on super high alpha types like Columbus in favor of high alphas with more aromas and flavors. The breeders are working away from lemony types and are developing melon and berry aromas. The major brewers are shifting the majority of their brewing to extracts, which is great for craft brewers because it further widens the gap between craft and mass produced beers.Thanks for the update Jeff!
interesting.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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Upvote!

Thanks for the info!

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:16 AM   #3
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How is it even legal to sell known virus inoculated rhizomes?

I would think that would/could make the virus spread and take out more of the industry...

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:19 AM   #4
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who knows if it's legal or not. if they're only selling off their crop of rhizomes every 15 years, customer retention might not be a problem.

crazy conspiracy theory: taking out more of the industry might be just want these people want. as long as they move to virus-resistant varieties, they'll be fine while the competition and/or home-growers watch their plants die.

more likely: they are selling those virus-infected/virus-prone rhizomes cheap and they're telling people that they are low-quality.

either way one would hope that they wouldn't do this, but times are tough and so it's understandable that they try getting a few bucks for their old rhizomes on the open market.

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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend, wet-hopped harvest ale x 2, second runnings dark ale with vanilla
Fermenting: (nothing active)
Aging: imperial chocolate stout, sour cherry mead, oud bruin & a few other sours, acerglyn, a BDSA
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #5
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The Willamette s are being torn out because Inbev stopped using them in Bud,this all started 2 years ago. These large farms just burn the rootstock.There is literally no demand for the rootstock as there is no large scale replanting. The large brewers have used extracts for years as it is the only way for them to obtain exact beer in multiple brewerys across the country. Cheers Glen

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Old 02-15-2012, 04:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopfarmer View Post
The Willamette s are being torn out because Inbev stopped using them in Bud,this all started 2 years ago. These large farms just burn the rootstock.
And it's not just InBev, Coors too did away with Willamettes. My buddy (95% of his hops go to Coors) tore up 100 acres of Willamette rhizomes, pilled it high, and let the thing burn. Got replaced with Chinook and Cascades which was already the majority of his crop before 'ridding Willamettes.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:19 AM   #7
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I was hoping to get Willamette rhizomes from my LHBS this spring for my first hop yard. Am I to understand that there's a good chance that I'll be getting a virus-infected rhizome?

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Old 02-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #8
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Unless the plant material is tested, you never know. I don't think the manpower is in place to test all rhizomes being sent out so the quality of the plant material may be based on a supplier's track record. Most farmers I know are pretty 'tight' when it comes to ethics but I know there's some out there that are doing everything they can just to survive and may turn a blind eye from time to time if it means a mortgage payment or equipment upgrades. I don't think anyone of good reputation would intentionally sell 'known' infected stock just to get rid of it to make a buck. I know I may be wrong but the folks I've dealt with in the past are solid. Roll the dice, see what happens and make sure you have plenty of homebrew no matter what happens!

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Old 02-15-2012, 06:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Hoppy View Post
Unless the plant material is tested, you never know. I don't think the manpower is in place to test all rhizomes being sent out so the quality of the plant material may be based on a supplier's track record. Most farmers I know are pretty 'tight' when it comes to ethics but I know there's some out there that are doing everything they can just to survive and may turn a blind eye from time to time if it means a mortgage payment or equipment upgrades. I don't think anyone of good reputation would intentionally sell 'known' infected stock just to get rid of it to make a buck. I know I may be wrong but the folks I've dealt with in the past are solid. Roll the dice, see what happens and make sure you have plenty of homebrew no matter what happens!
Solid advice. I think its about time to buy a wilamette rhizome as they are digging them up. They are a good all purpose hop. Even if it was diseased at the home farm, in the new soil and climate it may be just fine.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:46 AM   #10
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these sporadic purges should be expected of large monoculture farms. eventually a disease will come along and force the farmers to switch varieties. hops are worse than most crops since there is a limit to how many chemicals (and how much) you can use on them (pyrethroid-flavored IPA, anyone?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyolympia View Post
I was hoping to get Willamette rhizomes from my LHBS this spring for my first hop yard. Am I to understand that there's a good chance that I'll be getting a virus-infected rhizome?
i would ask your LHBS where they source their rhizomes. if they get them direct from a reputable farm, especially one that specializes in supplying hop rhizomes direct (as opposed to supplying hops to brewers), i wouldn't worry. if they are less certain, or say they get them where they can (i.e. wherever is cheapest), then i'd be worried about getting some of these ripped-up williamettes.
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend, wet-hopped harvest ale x 2, second runnings dark ale with vanilla
Fermenting: (nothing active)
Aging: imperial chocolate stout, sour cherry mead, oud bruin & a few other sours, acerglyn, a BDSA
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