Hop industry pays for NASS surveys
MOXEE, Wash. — Hop Growers of America, in Moxee, spent $32,800 to keep two of five USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service surveys of U.S. hops going this year.
The problem is the association doesn’t have the money to keep the surveys going next year unless there’s an increase in assessment or some other solution at this year’s annual convention, said Ann George, association administrator. The meeting is Jan. 21-24 at Hilton Executive Tower in Portland.
NASS eliminated its five annual hop surveys due to federal budget sequestration, but then Hop Growers of America saved the June acreage projection and the December final survey of acreage, production and season average prices, George said.
“The board felt those were too important to lose,” she said. “Growers and purchasers are very interested in knowing trends by variety so they can make future production and marketing decisions.”
Growing contracts are reached in December, January and February, she said.
NASS’s March and September hop stock surveys and August preharvest estimate were eliminated, George said.
Hop commissions in Washington, Oregon and Idaho regulate grower assessments in each state. Washington produces 80 percent of the U.S. crop. The Washington assessment is 1 cent per pound and would have to go to 1.25 cent per pound to fund Washington’s portion of the NASS surveys, George said. A 1.375-cent assessment to fund research and plant protection needs was voted down last year, she said.