Sending Office: Honorable Peter A. DeFazio
Sent By:
Kris.Pratt@mail.house.gov

 

Support the Brewing Industry! Support Hops Research!

Deadline: Wednesday March 14th COB

Current Signers: Carbajal, Courtney, Susan Davis, DeGette, DeSaulnier, Gallego, Higgins, Jackson Lee, Lieu, McGovern, Nolan, Stefanik, Vargas, Welch

Dear Colleague:

            The brewing industry depends on hops for their craft.  As the number of craft breweries continues to grow, demand for hops is exploding.  Brewers are looking for more varieties for their recipes. To meet demand, hop farmers depend on research
not only for new varieties, but also for new breeds of disease resistant hops.    

            Unfortunately, the President’s FY2019 budget has proposed eliminating the public hop research program, so clarifying congressional intent and support of this program is urgent. An appropriation of $1.8 million to fund three FTEs in this program
would meet that need in FY2019.

            The U.S. hop industry is experiencing unprecedented expansion.
While hop production is primarily centered in the Pacific Northwest, with demand increasing for domestic hops there is an urgency to expand it to other parts of the country.
Hops are now grown in 29 states.  Unfortunately, hop diseases like downy mildew, powdery mildew and others threaten the sustainability of the U.S. hop and brewing industries. Crop loss from disease and pests, combined with management costs,
now approach 15% of total crop value. That is why new disease resistant public hop varieties are needed now more than ever for sustainable control of these diseases, and to allow for continued, competitive commercial hop crop production throughout the U.S.

            The brewing industry has been a model of U.S. economic growth over the past decade. Sustaining over two million U.S. jobs, it represents an American manufacturing success story that is fueled by farms. The industry has boosted domestic sales
and exports, and supports a growing supply chain of U.S. farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – specifically through the emergence of craft brewing. U.S. hop cultivation is central to this success story.  The craft brewing industry supports over
465,000 jobs and contributed $67.8 billion to the economy in 2017. Overall, the brewing industry has generated more than $253 billion in economic activity and supported 1.8 million jobs. Craft brewers can be found in every state
with over 6,100 breweries operating in the U.S. This creates strong demand for new and existing hop varieties nationwide.

            USDA-ARS conducts ongoing research in hop genomics and pathology and is therefore uniquely qualified to conduct public sector breeding. However, current resources are inadequate to fully address both fundamental research and a dedicated breeding
effort. USDA-ARS is currently working with the Hop Growers of America and Brewers Association on a new initiative for the accelerated development of disease resistant hop varieties using genome enabled breeding technologies, which includes significant industry
investment.

            To join me in sending the letter below, please contact Kris Pratt (kris.pratt@mail.house.gov).

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                            Peter A. DeFazio

                                                            Member of Congress

 

March XX, 2018

The Honorable Robert Aderholt

Chairman

Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies

2362-A Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515-6016

 

The Honorable Sanford Bishop

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies

2407 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515-6016

 

Dear Chairman Aderholt and Ranking Member Bishop:

            As you consider the Fiscal Year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill, we write to express our strong support for including $1,800,000 for hops-related research in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).

            The brewing industry has been a model of U.S. economic growth over the past decade. Sustaining over two million U.S. jobs, it represents an American manufacturing success story that is fueled by farms. The industry has boosted domestic sales
and exports, and supports a growing supply chain of U.S. farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – specifically through the emergence of craft brewing. U.S. hop cultivation is central to this success story and we request support for increased funding
for USDA-ARS hop-related research.

            The U.S. hop industry is experiencing unprecedented expansion due to rapid growth in the craft brewing sector, which supports over 465,000 jobs and contributed $67.8billion to the economy in 2017. Overall, the brewing industry has generated more
than $253 billion in economic activity and supported 1.8 million jobs. Craft brewers can be found in every state with over 6,100 breweries operating in the U.S. This creates strong demand for new and existing hop varieties nationwide.

            Hop production is centered in the Pacific Northwest but with the rapid expansion of the craft brewing sector, there is an urgency to expand it to other parts of the country. Unfortunately, hop diseases like downy mildew, powdery mildew and others
threaten the sustainability of the U.S. hop and brewing industries. Crop loss from disease and pests, combined with management costs, now approach 15% of total crop value. That is why new disease resistant public hop varieties are needed now more than ever
for sustainable control of these diseases, and to allow for continued, competitive commercial hop crop production throughout the U.S.

            USDA-ARS conducts ongoing research in hop genomics and pathology and is therefore uniquely qualified to conduct public sector breeding. However, current resources are inadequate to fully address both fundamental research and a dedicated breeding
effort. USDA-ARS is currently working with the Hop Growers of America and Brewers Association on a new initiative for the accelerated development of disease resistant hop varieties using genome enabled breeding technologies, which includes significant industry
investment.

            Unfortunately, the President’s FY2019 budget has proposed eliminating the public hop research program, so clarifying congressional intent and support of this program is urgent. An appropriation of $1.8 million to fund three FTEs in this program
would meet that need in FY2019.

            We appreciate your consideration of our request and look forward to working together to further advance the success of the hop and brewing industries.

 

Sincerely,
 

 

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Appropriations, Natural Resources, Science

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