The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it is seeking input to help determine the representative base period for a proposed marketing agreement and order for hops grown in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington state.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is considering two possible representative base periods: 1) 1997 through 2002; and 2) the six most recent crop years preceding implementation of the proposed marketing order.

The proposal to establish a hop marketing order was submitted by the Hop Marketing Order Proponent Committee, a group of industry members who support a marketing order for hops. A public hearing on the proposal was held in October 2003, where USDA heard testimony and received evidence from industry participants.

The marketing order would authorize volume control measures in the form of producer allotments to regulate the marketing of alpha acid in hops in the production area. Alpha acid, the bittering agent used in brewing beer, is the primary marketable component of hops. Under producer allotment programs, establishing an allotment base for each producer provides a means for allocating the annual salable quantity. This base is established in terms of prior production during a representative period.

Source: USDA