DearColleague.us

Letter

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

Support the Brewing Industry – Support Hops Research 

 

Deadline: April 2, COB

 

Current signers (23): Bonamici, Boyle, Bustos, Carbajal, DeFazio, DeGette, DeSaulnier, Fitzpatrick, Mike Kelly, Kind, Lamborn, Lipinski, Loebsack, McGovern, Moore, Sewell, Stefanik, Vargas, Velazquez, Welch, Wild, Yarmuth, Young

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 flavor profiles, but also for disease resistance and resilience to changes in climate.    

            USDA-ARS conducts ongoing research in hop genomics and pathology and is therefore uniquely qualified to conduct public sector breeding. An appropriation of $1.8 million (level funding from FY18 and FY19) to fund three FTEs in the program would
assist the brewing industry’s continued growth.

            The U.S. hop industry has experienced unprecedented expansion, with acreage increasing 80 percent since 2012.
While hop production is primarily centered in the Pacific Northwest, increased demand increasing for locally produced ingredients as driven expansion to other parts of the country.
Hops are now commercially grown in 30 states, with the US producing 42 percent of the world’s supply of this critical ingredient for brewing.  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 percent of total crop value. 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
500,000 jobs and contributed $76.2 billion to the economy in 2017. Overall, the brewing industry generates more than $350 billion in economic activity and supports over 2 million jobs. Craft brewers can be found in every state
with over 6,300 breweries operating in the U.S. This creates strong demand for new and existing hop varieties nationwide.

            Maintaining the current level of appropriation in FY2020 will send a strong message to USDA regarding the prioritization of this program and will allow continued fundamental research and implementation of 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 us in sending the letter below, please contact KP Pratt (Kris.pratt@mail.house.gov)
by April 2, 2019.

                                                                        Sincerely,

                                    Peter A. DeFazio                                Mike Kelly

                                    Member of Congress                          Member of Congress

 

April X, 2019

The Honorable Sanford Bishop

Chairman

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

H-307, The Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20515-6016

 

The Honorable Jeff Fortenberry

Ranking Member

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

1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515-6016

 

Dear Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Fortenberry:

            As you consider the Fiscal Year 2020 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 2.2 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 level 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 500,000 jobs and contributed $76.2 billion to the economy in 2017. Overall, the brewing industry has generated
more than $350 billion in economic activity. Craft brewers can be found in every state with over 6,300 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. Hops are now grown in 30 states, with the U.S. producing over 42 percent
of the world’s supply. 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 percent 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.  An appropriation of $1,800,000 would address both fundamental research and a dedicated breeding effort by
funding three FTEs to meet that need in Fiscal Year 2020.

            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, Small Business

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