Responsible service of water

Our farms are more than fields, poles, strings and hops. They are our communities, customers and employees future. As the largest hop grower in Australia it’s important for us to consider the economic, environmental and social impact of every decision we make, which is why we are working toward a sustainability strategy that complies with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) responsible and ethical business standards.
Image credit: Sentek

The efficient and effective use of water is one piece of our sustainability strategy. Although our farms have been established upon land where the soil is rich and the water supply is abundant, we value the natural resources that ensure our success, and strive to manage them responsibly. This includes the use of a cloud-based irrigation system that continuously monitors soil moisture levels to ensure we only use as much water as we need to deliver high quality hops to brewers, while conserving the rest to support the local flora, fauna and recreation.

In order to produce one of the highest yielding hop crops in the world while conserving as much water as possible, we need to continually assess our net irrigation needs. This process involves calculating the maximum evapotranspiration (ie. total losses due to transpiration and evaporation from the soil) using climate data and our knowledge of the crop needs during critical growth stages. By following evaporation rates from the previous week versus historical climate data, the weather forecast, the current soil moisture status, the age and growth stage of a crop, we can accurately predict our irrigation needs for the week ahead throughout the growing season.

We use a predictive model that utilises an array of Australian Bureau of Meterology (BoM) data relating to our farms in order to forecast the evapotranspiration for the week ahead. Knowing the forecast rate of water loss from our fields, we are well placed to efficiently and effectively manage the resources available to us.

The amount of water our crop needs is dependent on the age of the crop and the growth stage it is in. Young crops typically need less water than more established crops, while both will need increasingly more water as they move through the critical growth stages. This is known as ‘crop factor’. We multiply the evaporation rate by the ‘crop factor’ to accurately schedule irrigation for the week ahead.

Evapotranspiration of the growing season in 2019

We also have in-field soil moisture monitoring probes on our farms that take a reading every ten minutes in 10cm intervals from 5cm to 85cm in depth. These readings are logged to a cloud-based server that our Farm Managers and Agronomists can view remotely, in real time over the course of the growing season.

Using our in-field soil moisture monitoring probes, we can also track the influence of irrigation, variance in plant uptake and rainfall. This allows us to apply the optimum amount of irrigation on a field-by-field basis. Irrigation optimisation is particularly important as too much water causes our crop to become water-logged resulting in overall yield loss, while not enough water causes our crop to go into shock resulting in photosynthesis shutting down and overall yield loss.

Real time readings from cloud-based soil moisture monitoring and irrigation optimisation technology in 2019

We have been using soil moisture monitoring and irrigation optimisation technology for nearly 20 years, and we will continue to invest, develop and refine our processes to ensure we keep managing the natural resources we use responsibly.


Owen Johnston

0400 126 015

National, NSW & ACT

Michael Capaldo

0490 441 090


Brad Nolen

0417 397 364


Simeon Bonetti

0490 489 007


Phil Rutjens

0421 944 849


Maria Juarez

0498 648 770


Join our mailing list and be among the first to know when we have big news to share about our range of Aussie, international and innovative hop products.

Plus, we’ll connect you with a local sales rep so you can get your hands on the hops you need to make awesome beers ASAP.

Your Privacy: By providing us with your personal information you authorise Hop Products Australia (HPA or us) to collect, use, store, dispose and manage that information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and its principles as set out in our Privacy Policy (please refer to the detail at In particular, we use your personal information and you consent to us using your personal information for the purposes of responding to your query. Generally, we only use or disclose personal information about you for the purposes for which it was collected and where it is sensitive its use will be strictly confined to the purpose of its collection. HPA does not sell, or otherwise trade, your personal information. Our Privacy Policy explains how you may access and correct your personal information, how you can lodge a complaint regarding the handling of your personal information and how HPA will handle any complaint.

Sign up for our Green Hop Program

Sign up for virtual harvest updates