9. March 2021
According to the report from the Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture from December 2020, the total hop production reached 5925 tons in the Czech Republic in 2020. The table provides an overview of the hop production in all Czech hop growing regions – Saaz, Auscha and Tirschitz. The average yield for all hop varieties grown in the Czech Republic was 1.19 t per hectare. The decrease in production compared to 2019 was caused by a very dry July and warm August climate together with severe windstorms and hails storms during the vegetation.
The fine aroma variety Saaz accounts for 76.0 % out of the total production, which is 4508 tons (2019: 5474 tons; 2018: 4090 tons). The Sladek variety reached 749 tons with an average yield of 2.0 tons per hectare. The Premiant variety reached 350 tons with an average yield of 1.79 tons per hectare. With Saaz Late, the harvest reached 70 tons, which is 32 tons less than in the previous year. The Kazbek variety harvest was 51 tons, which is 41 tons less than in 2019, and the harvest of Agnus variety reached 106 tons.
Content and production of alpha bitter acids
In 2020 the average contents of alpha acids among all varieties exceeded the 10- and 5-year average. They were also higher than alpha contents recorded in the crop year 2019. The content of alpha acids for Saaz was 3.6 % (2019: 3.4 %; 2018: 2.9 %; 2017: 3.0 %), for Sladek 6.8 % (2019: 5.4 %; 2018: 4.3 %; 2017: 6.2 %) and for Premiant 7.8 % (2019: 7.1 %; 2018: 5.1 %; 2017: 7.6 %).
Due to a less productive harvest, hardly any hops from the 2020 crop were on the spot market. Some demands were covered by the hops from previous harvests. Based on negotiations with partners and their helpfulness it was possible to postpone part of their contracted volumes. Very limited quantities from some previous harvests are still available, for example Kazbek variety.
At the same time Czech growers keep investing into replanting their hop fields as well as into irrigation to stabilize their production and into new harvesting technologies supplied by CHMELARSTVI Mechanizace Plant. The harvest 2021 is basically under contracts already and there should not be any major changes in the total acreage of hops in the Czech Republic. Contracting up to 2025 has also been successful. Strong interest is visible in the traditional variety Saaz as well as other Czech varieties.
Crop 2020 in comparison with the past 10 years
The total hop production of 2020 crop amounted to 5925 t. From a long-term point of view, this result is slightly below average and caused an indisputable disappointment among Czech growers. Unfavorable climatic conditions during vegetation period resulted in a below average crop that did not fulfill our primary expectations. The difference is especially visible in comparison with the 2019 harvest that yielded 7145 t.
However, when comparing this year’s production with the average of the last 10 years, the result of 2020 does not sound so unfavourable. The average production among all Czech varieties from 2011 to 2020 reaches 5951 tons. The final amount harvested in 2020 corresponds to the value of this average. However, 10 % decrease in yields as well as in production was recorded compared to 5-year average (6541 tons).
The 10-year production average of the Saaz variety recorded in a period from 2011 to 2020 is 4775 t. This is only 267 tons more than the 4508 tons reached in the crop year 2020.
The average alpha acid content of the Saaz variety reached 3.6 % in the crop year 2020. This value is above the 5-year average (3.26 %) and 10-year average (3.21 %) as well as average content of alpha acids recorded in 2019 crop (3.4 %).
Although the year-on-year production varies, the supply and production of Saaz hops have been stable from a long-term point of view. The Saaz variety yield average has improved in the past several years from a 10-year average yield of 1.17 tons per hectare to a last 5-years average of 1.22 tons per hectare which shows a positive impact of regular new planting of hops gardens with Saaz hops on a final yield.
The average production of the Sladek variety from the 2011 to 2020 crop has been 575 tons. The production from the 2020 crop (749 t) is 174 tons higher in comparison to the 10-year average and is also higher than the 5-year average (666 t). The average content of alpha acids reached 6,8 % in the crop year 2020. This value is above the 5-year average (5.84 %) and also exceeds the 10-year average (6.27 %) as well as the average content of alpha acids recorded in the 2019 crop (5.4 %).
The production and acreage of Sladek has gradually been increasing. The 10-year average yielded around 2.0 tons per hectare. This shows the quality and long-term stability of this Czech aroma variety.
The average production of the Premiant variety from 2011 to 2020 has been 354 tons. Thus, the production of the 2020 crop (350 tons) corresponds to the 10-year average as well as the 5-year average that is 347 tons. The average content of alpha acids reached 7.8 % in the crop year 2020. This value is above the 5-year average (7.22 %) and also slightly above the 10-year average (7.7 %). The alpha content of the Premiant variety from the 2019 crop (7.1 %) was lower as well.
Due to a renewal of hop gardens within last seasons, Premiant hops were able to reach a stable production. Nevertheless, the average yields are 10 % lower in comparison to the Sladek variety. The Premiant 10-year average is 1.82 tons per hectare, the 5-year average yield is 1.93 tons per hectare. The yield of the 2020 crop is 1.79 tons per hectare.
Source BRAUWELT International 2021