Hop Products Australia forecasts its 2018 crop will deliver a 21 per cent yield increase on last year, as the hop harvest gets underway today at Rostrevor Hop Gardens.
HPA said the 2018 Harvest will span five weeks, with seven varieties to be harvested, consisting of Galaxy, Ella, Enigma, Super Pride, Topaz, Vic Secret and Cascade. The company discontinued four varieties last year.
The 2018 harvest is expected to yield an estimated 1445 metric tonnes, HPA said, enabling it to continue to supply proprietary flavour hops to the growing domestic and international craft beer markets.
This forecast production represents an increase of 21 per cent from the 2017 harvest and 100 per cent increase over the last four years.
“We only started today, so we won’t know exactly what we have against that expected number of 1445 tonnes until we have everything picked and bailed,” HPA managing director Tim Lord told Brews News.
“We’re at the mercy of the weather – we’re reliant on not getting too much rain.
“But March is typically a very stable month in both Victoria and Tasmania, so we have every hope that we’ll get a good run at this and get it all harvested.”
Lord said HPA is also banking on new machinery installed at Rostrevor performing to expectations, following substantial investment last year.
“It’s also just a case of how these different varieties yield. There’s always a bit of up and down, so we won’t get exactly 1445 tonnes.
“It could be more, it could be less. I’d love to know that I have a couple of hundred extra tonnes of Galaxy in my pocket!”
With harvest at Rostrevor now underway, Bushy Park Estates in Tasmania is expected to follow on Monday March 5.