International Hop Industry Congress
03. - 06. August 1997

Prague / Saaz
Czech republic

Congress is organized by:

IHGC documents available:
Report 1996/97 by the Chairman of the Economic Commission
Report 1996/97 by the Chairman of the Technical Commission
Report 1996/97 by the Secretary General



Report 1996/97 by the Chairman of the Economic Commission

The global summary of the IHGC crop 1996 data are as follows:

In 1996 there were 66,758 ha of hop area with production of 2,164,337 Ztr. or 8,496 tonnes of Alpha. That means an increase in production of 112,102 Ztr. or 1,532 tonnes of Alpha in comparison with 1995, eventhough the production area was reduced by 1,462 ha.

In 1997 the hop acreage is estimated at 62,350 ha with a further hop area reduction of 4,407 ha. The production is estimated to be 2,007,490 Ztr., which means a decrease of 156,847 Ztr. in comparison with 1996. The Alpha acids estimation for 1997 is approximately 8,000 tonnes.

Based on the IHGC reports it may be briefly said that:

With respect to the market situation it may be said that:

The perspective for hop growing is not very optimistic at the moment. Some measures for stabilising the situation of the hop market need to be done immediately. If not, the hop market will correct itself and this could be painful for the growers.

Jean-Paul Feldmann



Report 1996/97 by the Chairman of the Technical Commission

As Chairman of the Technical Commission, I would like to welcome you all to the 45th International Hop Growers Congress and more particularly to the meeting of the Technical Commission. For this year’s meeting, I had again compiled four diverse but hopefully interesting papers from four accomplished workers in hops from around the world.

Our first paper was from Dr. Elisabeth Seigner of the Huell Hop Research Station in Germany. Dr. Seigner was telling us about possible new methods of breeding hops brought about by the recent, much-publicized advances in plant biotechnology. I felt this paper was of interest not just for hops but for our general enlightenment in this developing area.

We then had two papers which looked, in different ways at the question of timing of harvest of the hop. Mr. Gene Probasco of John I. Haas, Inc. in Yakima, Wa. USA detailed various measurements which may be made in order to determine the optimal time for harvesting a particular variety.

Then Mr. Colin Hill of English Hop Products, Ltd., Kent, UK, reported on findings in England about how the time of harvesting a high alpha variety can affect the level of alpha acid and its subsequent storage. He also looked at the effect of drying temperature and storage conditions on storage stability of alpha acids.

Our last paper this year was on a subject area which is also extremely important to us all - namely the effectiveness of spray applications in hop protection. Ing. Frantisek Vesely of the Czech Hop Research Institute presented a paper in which a new Dutch sprayer was compared with a standard Czech sprayer for its efficacy of spraying. This paper is valuable as it outlines the many criteria which need to be studied in a through analysis of sprayer performance.

I hope you all find these papers to be both useful and informative. I thank all four speakers for their hard work in preparing the spoken and written forms of the papers.

Dr. Gregory K. Lewis



Report 1996/97 by the Secretary General

This Congress was held for the fourth time in the history of our hop organisation in Prague - the capital of the Czech republic, in a country which has a very long tradition of a hop growing. In these days of our Congress, Prague might be proclaimed as the world hop metropolis. The previous Hop growers’ Congresses were held in this country in 1958, 1966 and 1974 in Prague and in 1985 in Nitra - which belongs today to Slovakia. Cordial thanks to the Hop growers from the Czech republic as well as to all who - during the preparation period - contributed to the Congress organisation.

The last Congress in 1996 had been held, in Munich. Our warmest thanks ought to be addressed again to German hop growers and their IHGC - representatives especially to Mr. Josef Schrag and to Mr. Otmar Weingarten.

The world Hop market situation at the moment is influenced by the overproduction of hops. The data as well as the problems of a hop supply were discussed at the meetings of the Economic Commission on November 12, 1996 in Nuremberg and on March 7, 1997 in Paris as well as on the March meeting of the Joint Trade Commission (JTC) of the IHGC and the European Hop Merchants’ Association (EHMA).

The 1996 world crop had an average production of 2.6 million zentners (130,000 t). However, compared to 1995 the alpha production was 15% higher. From individual IHGC members' reports it appears that in 1996 the acreage of a hop area was lower in comparison with the 1995 season (-2,389 ha i.e. -3.4%). However the production in this period was increased by 33,175 Ztr. (+1.6%), and alpha production even by 15 % and reached 8,229.9 t. In 1997 the acreage reduction of 1,240 ha (-1.8%) has been reported.

This oversupply of alpha, combined with the continued decrease of beer consumption in the world’s two major markets, in Europe and in the USA, have resulted in low prices in the hop market. Several times these prices have been and still are even below the cost-price. But on the other hand for several reasons concerning the operating efficiency, the growers hardly make up their mind to reduce their hop production. Any decreasing of production raises therefore the costs per production unit.

To soften a bit the growers’ position concerning the difficult situation on the world market, also the Resolution of the IHGC Executive Committee was adopted. This resolution was supposed to be presented to all the national hop organizations as well as to Governments of the IHGC member countries. Its intention is to support the necessary measures concerning the supply reduction. In this direction close contacts with Hop trade, and as much as possible, with breweries, are also necessary.

The Technical Commission had met on August 5, 1996 in Munich and on March 7, 1997 in Paris. On its meeting during the last congress in Germany a varied and interesting program with four papers on very diverse subjects was presented. Delegates appeared to find the presentations interesting, valuable and thought-provoking and on this basis it may be said to have been a success. On the second meeting the program for this congress with four papers from Germany, USA, UK and Czech republic was presented and discussed.

Concerning the topic Pesticide-Harmonization on the international level new steps were made. In January 1997 in Las Vegas on the International Harmonization Work Session the regulatory situation in Germany, the UK and the US was discussed. With the tripartite (US/Germany/UK) agreement the exchange of information on pesticide research would surely contribute to solve some of the problems on this area.

After the last meeting of the Scientific Commission in l995 in Strasbourg, it met this year in Zatec (Czech rep.) just before this congress - from 29. July to 1. August, 1997. The suggested topic of the meeting had been »Modern and Environmental Beneficial Hop Production« including various aspects of this subject such as Hop Breeding, New Technologies, Hop Protection and Harmonizing the Registration of Pesticides and Hop Chemistry and Quality.

28 proposals for conferment of a Hop order were submitted this year: 26 nominations for the first degree (Knight), 1 for the second degree (Officer) and 1 nomination for the third degree (Commander). These were confirmed by the Executive Committee at the meeting on August 4, 1997. I heartily congratulate all decoration holders.

I would like to thank Mr. F. Chvalovsky as the IHGC President, the Chairmen and members of Commissions, as well as, to all who contributed to the effective work of Commissions, and I do expect the pleasure of further successful collaboration. My special thanks are expressed again to my forgoer Prof. Dr. Alojz Cetina. For detailed reporting on IHGC events and data exchange into the publications I feel much obliged to the chief-editor of the Hopfen-Rundschau, Mr. Weingarten, as well as to the manager of the Hop growers of America, Mr. Sean McGree.

The report on 17 pages includes also some other information connected with interesting production data and those from the history of our organization as well as the important addresses. Finally, I would like to thank all representatives of the member countries for a confidence expressed to me working as a secretary general. Since every little bit of better communication in the world of hops is a benefit to our industry, we are on our way to accomplish the idea of our - Internet IHGC Web page with a hope to spread this way of a communication also between the hop growers in the future.

Dr. Martin Pavlovic

For any further information contact please the IHGC Secretariat !