DIXON -- Hop farmers are hoping this year's yield will make for a delicious batch of beer.
Some California farmers say the wet winter in the Central Valley set the stage for a bountiful hop harvest this season.
For many farmers, the hop plants stood dormant much longer than usual due to a cooler spring -- which would have delayed harvest.
However, several heat waves over the past few months got them ready just in time for harvest.
"The hops love the heat. They love the long summer days and that really set them off," said Xo Pineda, Ruhstaller's farm manager.
Pineda says the rain created an abundant "cover crop" allowing the hops to be protected from insects.
"One of the things we had this year that we didn't have last year is just all the life around us because of the wet winter," Pineda said.
The naturally occurring plants and weeds also added critical nutrients to the soil, which allowed the crops to produce fuller yields for years to come.
"This next year, I do expect we'll see a boost in yield because the boost the soil is getting," Pineda said.
Ruhstaller Farm is a hop farm and brewery in Dixon that practices organic farming. They grow their hops onsite just yards from their brewery. Their first beer from this year's hop yield should be ready within the next few weeks.
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