September 19, 2018

Wyden Urges Hops Protections Stay in Farm Bill

Senator says hops industry in Oregon needs safeguards against crop diseases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today asked key congressional leaders to maintain provisions in the Farm Bill that support key protections against diseases threatening hops production in Oregon and nationwide.

Wyden and three other senators wrote leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture committees that their request comes as the U.S. hops industry faces the costly problem of crop diseases like powdery mildew and downy mildew.

“This threat means the signature hop used in a very large number of craft beers is in danger of losing its resistance to a very common and costly disease,” they wrote. “This development could lead to decreased yields for farmers, as well as higher prices and lower quality hops for the growing craft brewing industry.”

Language in the Senate Farm Bill addresses these threats by authorizing the Agricultural Research Service to work on powdery mildew and downy mildew.

Oregon ranks third nationally behind Washington and Idaho in hops production, according to the Hop Growers of America.

Joining Wyden in the letter are Sens. Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Cory Gardner (R-CO).

The letter is available here.

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