Propagating a successful hops industry in Canada

Published Jun 25, 2020

Tridge summary

Hops might possibly be the most intensive crop you could grow in Canada, and aren’t for the faint of heart. Growing hops commercially has gotten a lot of attention in the last five years on the Prairies with the influx of craft breweries. Previously, hops were mainly grown in Ontario and British Columbia, and, in B.C. in particular, hops were a major commodity in the lower mainland until production moved south to the Yakima Valley in Washington and parts of Oregon and Idaho.

Original content

Ball park installation costs for a hop yard is $12,000 per acre, more or less. Production inputs are approximately $700 per acre, with labour costs being equivalent to that amount, so in total $1,400 per acre to grow each year. In addition to production costs, specialized equipment is required including bine-cutters (it’s a bine, not a vine), a stationary picker that isn’t made in North America, drying boxes or space to dry them, balers, and a pelletizer, if you plan on selling them dry, not fresh. Hops require processing knowledge that has been missing in B.C. since the ’80s and what knowledge is left over is time-stamped and isn’t considered valid anymore. With a lapse in time between the initial boom bringing back production ten to fifteen years ago in B.C. and now, where hops are entering year five or less of production across the Prairies, it’s time to check in with hop producers and see how things have progressed. “The hop industry in Canada is going through a tough spread. ...
Source: Real Ag
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