June 20, 2005

CRAPO APPLAUDS USDAâ??S HALT OF HOP MARKETING ORDER PROCEEDINGS

Washington, DC â??Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, commended Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns for the U.S. Department of Agricultureâ??s (USDA) announcement today to terminate the proceedings to establish a marketing order for hops grown in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. â??This proposed marketing order would have had a significant impact on Idaho hop producers,â?? said Crapo. â??Throughout the course of these proceedings, I have appreciated the USDAâ??s careful consideration of how this order would affect the industry. Idaho hop growers have been unified in their opposition to the proposed order, and I commend them for their diligence in delivering their clear, centralized message every step of the way that they do not support the adoption of the proposed hops marketing order.â?? In reaching the decision, the USDA noted several problems with the proposed hop marketing order. No need for the order was demonstrated, no positive economic impact on the industry could be identified, and there was no determination that the benefits and costs associated with the proposed marketing order could be allocated equitably. Crapo, who has worked with the USDA and Idaho hop growers to ensure that Idaho hop producerâ??s concerns with the proposed marketing order have been addressed, sent a letter to Secretary Johanns in May to express his opposition to the proposed order and explain Idaho hop producer concerns. In the letter, Crapo stated that he did not want to see the establishment of a marketing order that would erode the U.S. hop industryâ??s ability to compete in the global market. â??Todayâ??s announcement is the best possible outcome for Idaho hop producers, who have been contesting this proposed order for more than two years,â?? Crapo said. â??Now, they can continue to produce high-quality hops without the cloud of this marketing order hanging over them.â??