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Old 12-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default How much hops can you get from one field per year?

Say you have an established field of hops... how much hops can you get from one field (let's say it's an average size field - whatever you want!) per year, assuming no frost kills it, no drought etc. etc.?

Answer in weight and/or plant number would be great. Thanks!

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Old 12-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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According to this page "Traditionally, the U.S. hop industry has used a 7-ft. x 7-ft. (approximately 2 x 2 m.) spacing, which resulted in 1778 strings per acre....In the early 1980's growers began to change to a 3.5-ft. x 14-ft. (approximately 1 x 3 m.) spacing...The number of strings per acre remained the same (1778 strings/acre)."

Then, from this page, "Under good conditions, hops are a prolific vine, will produce from 1/2 to 2 pounds of dried flowers per plant..."

Banged together, the numbers suggest a range from a half ton to two tons of dried yield per acre...


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Old 12-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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As day tripper points out, you should be asking two other questions:

- How many pounds (properly dried) per plant?
- How many plants per acre?

Depending upon the variety, the 0.5 to 2 lb is accurate. The lower numbers will come from trying to grow noble varieties on US soil or some of the other delicate hops. 2 lb is a cascade or other hearty variety under ideal conditions. Of course this all assumes you have a very tight control on nutrients, water, pests, weeds and you don't have a drought year. But that's farming.

How many per acre? You can pack as many as you want, but more than 2,000 becomes nearly impossible for anything to get enough light. Outside of the arid conditions of the PNW and CO, we have found 1,000 to 1,200 is more realistic for an acre. We need to provide more room for airflow to get rid of the morning fog that brings molds/mildews with it. We also need more sunlight to drive that moisture away. The number per acre really depends on what your trellis structure looks like and what it can support.

Carrying it to the next logical question, what can you get per pound...assuming you are going to grow commercial. That depends on the region of the country you are in and the final form/quality of the product you are producing. In general, local growers can get a premium for their product but if the quality is low, the brewers won't come back. If it is wet, the brewers will never ask for more than what they can use in a single batch. If they are dried, but whole cone, some brewers won't touch it. That is a very regional thing from what I've seen.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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What is an "average size field"?
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bknifefight View Post
What is an "average size field"?
The first thing that came to my mind. I've seen hop fields in a large range of sizes.
How big is an "average" wheat field?
Let's see if I keep this updated!

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Old 12-10-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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I would say there is no average size field. Just all depend on how much yield you want.

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