2016 Hop Harvest season farm update
An update on the current 2016 Hop Harvest season
Leading into harvest, Tasmania sweltered through its hottest summer on record(1). The state-wide mean temperature listed as 1.78°C above average, almost half a degree warmer than the previous record from 1981 and 1961(2). Bushy Park Estates had 20% below average rainfall for the months of December, January and February(3), which saw us thankful for the steady supply of water from the Styx River that runs through the farm. Irrigation began in August by necessity, allowing harvest to stay on track.
Northern Victoria saw moderate summer conditions; aside for the extreme weather event in early December (more on that here) our farm, Rostrevor Hop Gardens, experienced excellent growing conditions with approximately 348mm of rain from July to December in 2015(4) and warm temperatures throughout the summer.
Warm conditions in February in Victoria and steady watering in Tasmania meant both farm managers were able to start rolling out the tractors at the start of March – our girls were right on schedule.
On Thursday 3rd March, picking kicked off with full force at Rostrevor, thanks to the successful commissioning of our new picking machine.
The new Dauenhauer picker allows us to pick 35 hop bines per minute – previously it was 10 per minute through each of the old pickers. Farm Manager Allan Monshing and the team have finished picking Ella and Galaxy is now well underway.
Down in Tassie, Farm Manager Oliver Ward’s team at Bushy Park Estates are cracking along – Early season varieties, Helga™, Cascade, Summer™ and Enigma™ have been completely harvested for 2016 and they’re moving through Ella™.
Once all varieties have been picked, kilned, baled, pelletised and packaged on both farms we’ll be able to share our seasonal results.
We’ll be updating you as we continue to roll out harvest over the coming weeks, check us out on social to see all the behind-the-scenes action and on-farm updates.
Photography: Van Dieman Brewing