Hop Growing in Idaho...

Idaho ranks third in U.S. hop production accounting for about 8% of the U.S. and 2% of the world harvest. Hops in Idaho are raised in two geographically distinct areas: the cool, moist region of the northern Idaho panhandle in Boundary County, and the warmer, arid Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho. Hop production varies considerably between these two regions.

 

 

 

 

 

In the northern region, located just 10 miles from the US border with Canada, hops are produced on a single, 1,700-acre (688 hectare) farm owned and operated by Annheuser-Busch. The cool, moist climate and long day length in this region create an ideal environment for the production of aroma hops. Hops grown in Northern Idaho include varieties of European origin such as Saaz and Hallertau.

Idaho's Treasure Valley is located in the Southwest corner of the state, 40 miles (48 kilometers) north west of Boise, the state Capital. The major hop-growing region of the Treasure Valley lies in the fertile flood plain of Boise River between the Owyhee Mountains to the southwest and the Sawtooth Mountains to the northeast. The desert climate, and long summer days of this area provide perfect conditions for the production of high, and super-high alpha varieties including Zeus, Galena, Nugget, and Chinook. Aroma varieties such as Mt. Hood, and Willamette are also grown with success in the Treasure Valley.

Hop farms in southern Idaho range in size from 200 to 900 acres (81 to 364 hectares). Water used in hop production originates from the surrounding mountain ranges and is stored in the nearby Anderson Ranch, Arrow Rock, and Lucky Peak reservoirs. The abundance of water for irrigation, in combination with the ideal climate, and fertile soil of this region assures efficient production of hops with superior quality.

Although small, the Treasure Valley is one of the world's most productive and diverse agricultural regions. From traditional crops such as potatoes and grains, to specialty crops such as fruits, mint, Christmas trees, and hops, nearly one hundred different crops are produced here. Idaho farmers combine abundant natural resources with state-of-the-art technology and equipment to produce superior quality agricultural products.