The Brewers Association recently worked with the House Small Brewers Caucus, along with the National Barley Growers Association, National Barley Improvement Committee, Hops Research Council, and Hop Growers of America to get congressional support for letters asking for appropriations funding for hops and barley research.
Both the House and Senate are in the midst of appropriations funding for the 2024 fiscal year budget, which determines funds that federal agencies receive for the fiscal year and how those funds will be allocated. Congress must pass appropriations bills by the start of each fiscal year, or pass a continuing resolution to keep the government from shutting down.
The farmers who supply America’s small and independent brewers with key beer ingredients benefit from the work done by the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).
The U.S. barley industry requested $5.3 million in funding for the USDA-ARS Barley Pest Initiative to strengthen the capacity of national public sector barley research infrastructure and to address 20 of the major insect, viral, bacterial, and fungal threats to the production of high-quality malting barley. Barley pests cause annual 5% to 15% yield reductions, resulting in losses of $36 to $118 million annually to growers nationwide. Read full barley letter.
The U.S. hop industry requested $2.6 million for ongoing research in hop genomics and pathology, and public hop breeding. The funds would help address hop diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew, which threaten the sustainability of the U.S. hop and brewing industries. Hop crop loss from disease and pests can approach 15% of total crop value. Read full hops letter.
The annual budget impacts small and breweries in many ways, and the Brewers Association works to support our supply chain partners on key legislative issues that have broad impact on our industry. Strong hops and barley crops are critical to the brewing industry.