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What's Hoppening: Musings from the Hopyard!

July 2014 Hop Update

Posted: July 14th, 2014 by hoppenin

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!


Posted: June 19th, 2014 by hoppenin

We began irrigating on the week of June 1st and will continue to irrigate until harvest at the end of August. Hops require a lot of water! We strongly recommend that you irrigate, and once you are done, irrigate some more. Chris Lattak of the Trickl-eez irrigation company recommends 16 gallons per plant per week. That’s a hard number to hit – we won’t be reaching it because we’d run the well dry – but it’s a good goal. For evidence to the value in irrigation, see this recent SARE grant study from Aroostook Farm in Maine: http://www.aroostookhops.com/uploads/SAREFinalReport2012FNE11-711.pdf.  This year we also added a fertigation system, which applies fertilizer through the drip irrigation. The fertigation started the week of June 9th. More information to come on our fertigation system.

Downy Mildew Management

Posted: June 9th, 2014 by hoppenin

We have been receiving inquiries as to Downy Mildew diagnosis and management techniques. Our Downy Mildew fact sheet (Link is below) has quite a bit of information that can be helpful. As always, please contact us if you have specific questions, or if we can elaborate on anything found within the fact sheet.


Keep calm and hop on



Posted: May 19th, 2014 by hoppenin

Yellow, stunted basal spike = downy mildew

Yellow, stunted basal spike = downy mildew.

Early season hops work

Posted: May 19th, 2014 by hoppenin

Hello hop enthusiasts!

We hope that all of your hops are beginning to grow and green up as the season gets into full swing. This year we are conducting a crowning date experiment. The first crowning date occurred on April 14th, and the second on May 12th. Stay tuned for growth and production updates!

We will begin spraying for downy mildew this week. We have observed a few characteristic pale green – yellow, stunted basal spikes in Alburgh, VT (image). We will spray for the first time before wet weather returns later this week.

As in years past, we will begin scouting for insects on June 1st as they start filtering into the hopyard.

GROWERS: We have gotten many inquiries as to what pesticides to use. Please fill out a short questionnaire (7 easy questions) about pesticide use and application. The link is below.

As always, please contact us if you have questions or if we can assist in anyway.

Keep calm and hop on!

5th Annual Hops Conference

Posted: February 11th, 2014 by hoppenin

Just a Quick reminder that the UVM Extensions 5th annual hops conference will be held on February 27th, from 9am-4pm, at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, VT! Registration begins at 8:30 am. There is a wonderful line up of speakers this year with a wide range of knowledge and expertise. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/hops. If you plan on attending, please RSVP by February 21st by going to www.uvm.edu/extension/hopsconference. We hope to see you all there!


2013 UVM Mobile Hops Harvester Summary

Posted: October 25th, 2013 by hoppenin

The UVM Mobile Hops Harvester visited six hop yards this year, harvesting approximately 400 dry pounds of hops over a 4 week period, plus harvesting the UVM research hop yard. This harvester, developed as a result of a Northeast Hops Alliance, UVM Extension, VT Agency of Ag Food and Markets, and MA Department of Agriculture sponsored project, aims to provide proof of concept of a mobile hops harvester in support of the re-emerging hop industry in the Northeast US.

View the UVM Extension AgEngineering Blog to see the full summary written by Chris Callahan, UVM Ag Engineer.

Hops Quality Analysis available now at UVM Lab!

Posted: September 26th, 2013 by hoppenin

Hops Quality Analysis is now available through the UVM Lab. At this time we have one test available for Brewing Values (BV’s). This test determines Alpha acids, Beta acids and Hops Storage Index (HSI) and cost $30 for each sample. We follow the ASBC Hops-6a methodology to ensure accuracy for all values.  Click here for the Hops Analysis Submission Form.  This form can also be found on our website at www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil.

August 1st Annual Field Day

Posted: July 29th, 2013 by hoppenin

Hi All,

A quick reminder that our Annual field day is happening this Thursday (August 1st) at Boderview Research Farm in Alburgh,VT! There will be an informational session in our hopyard in the early afternoon; along with many other great opportunities to learn throughout the day. below is a link to the brochure, which will explain how to register. All farmers/growers may attend free of charge.


Hope to see you there!!

Massachusetts Hops Field Day

Posted: July 12th, 2013 by hoppenin

Join us for a tour of Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA with the L’Etoile family on Thursday, August 15, 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Learn about growing hops, including planning, budgeting, building the hop yard, picking/harvesting, drying, compacting and packaging.  Equipment demonstrations include a Wolf harvester, customer built drying system and compactor.

The UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team will be there to provide research updates on fertility requirements, variety selection, pest management and other best management practices.

Register online by August 9th at www.uvm.edu/extension/mahops
Registration is $15 and includes lunch.

View our event flyer – http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/wp-content/uploads/hopsMA8152013.pdf

If you have any questions, please call Susan Brouillette or Heather Darby at 802-524-6501 or 1-800-639-2130 (Vermont only).

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