- Associated Press - Thursday, December 1, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - More than 100 members of Congress are asking the federal government to increase its commitment to research related to growing hops, a key ingredient in beer.

The lawmakers say the brewing industry generated more than $250 billion in economic activity in 2014.

Hop growers face a variety of challenges, including mites, mildews, blights, and other pests that harm production.

The lawmakers say developing new hop varieties that are pest-resistant and climate-tolerant will help growers increase yields while reducing pesticide use. They want additional research time devoted to hops.

Most of the nation’s hops are grown in the Yakima Valley.

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