Disease: Downy mildew is our biggest pest problem this year in Vermont. Due to the lasting rainy weather, we continue to see aerial and basal spikes appear. For disease control in the Alburgh, VT research hopyard, we spray an organic fungicide weekly. We also have a new crowning trial this season that you can check out at our field day on July 24th at Borderview Farm!
Arthropods: On the arthropod side of pest management we have been finding medium levels of the major hop arthropod pests in Vermont. Hop aphids, two spotted spider mites, and potato leafhoppers are all present, yet have remained well below actionable levels. The harsh, long winter that our region experienced this year is certainly part of the reason for lower arthropod populations. A few Japanese beetles and various caterpillar species (Eastern comma and hop looper) have also been scouted. As a result of not applying insecticides thus far in our research yard, we have been able to avoid secondary outbreaks of spider mites and aphids. When broad spectrum insecticides are sprayed, beneficial arthropods are killed allowing pest arthropod populations to increase rapidly. See our major and minor arthropod pest fact sheets on our website under News from the Field.
Early Hop Cones: It has been observed across the country that cones are developing early. In our hopyard, ‘Saaz’ as of July 1, 2014 already had full sized cones and will be ready to harvest in a few weeks. It is unclear as to why we are seeing this trend but it is nationwide. Tell us what you’re seeing on our UVM Extension Crops and Soils facebook page!