School of Economic Sciences

Farm Management

2004 Estimated Cost of Producing Hops under Drip Irrigation in the Yakima Valley, Washington State

Author: Herbert Hinman*

In 2003, Washington State harvested 39.95 million pounds of hops from 19,492 acres, accounting for 74% of the U.S. production. Hops, with a value of $87.6 million, ranks 13th in agricultural commodity value in the state. All hop acreage in Washington State is in the Yakima Valley. Washington hop acreage has declined by 11,588 acres (39%) since 1997. This reduction is a result of a worldwide oversupply of hops created by the introduction of higher yielding varieties of hops and technological advances that have improved the efficiency of downstream processing. These factors have resulted in extremely poor market conditions. Additional acreage reductions may be realized in the next few years as the international hop industry seeks equilibrium between supply and demand.**

The general objective of this study was to develop enterprise budgets for three different types of hops grown under drip irrigation at a planting of 14 feet x 3.5 feet. The three types of hops are aroma (Willamette), alpha (Galena/Nugget), and super alpha. The specific objectives were to: (1) provide estimates of capital requirements, production costs, and returns representative of well-managed hop enterprises growing these various types of hops under drip irrigation; and (2) give producers a procedure and a tool for analyzing the profitability of their own enterprise.

*Herb Hinman is an Extension Economist, retired, at Washington State University.
**Ann George, Administrator, Washington Hop Commission.



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EB1975E - Available for download in pdf format.

Early emmergence of hops in the field

hops sprayer

close-up of hops on the vine hops rows

hops on the vine

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