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What's Hoppening: Musings from the Hopyard!

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).

June 2013 Hops Scouting Report

Posted: June 17th, 2013 by hoppenin


As you scout for insects and disease in your hopyards this spring, undoubtedly dodging puddles, you are likely finding fewer critters than usual. The cool, wet weather that we have been experiencing lately has taken its toll on the insects that are typical for this time of year. However, downy mildew is one problem that most of us are dealing with as a result of these conditions. For comprehensive information about downy mildew, disease symptoms and management in hops, check out the following factsheethttp://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/wp-content/uploads/DownyMildew.pdf


If you would like to confirm whether or not downy mildew has infected your hop plants, you can submit a sample to your local University Extension Plant Diagnostic Laboratory. Visit their website or call for specifications on how to prepare and submit a sample. A diagnosis will cost between $15 and $30, depending on the lab. Contact your local Plant Diagnostic Lab by following the links below or contacting your local Extension office:


Cornell University Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic

334 Plant Science Building

Ithaca, NY 14853


UMass Plant Diagnostic Lab

101 University Drive, Suite A7

Amherst, MA 01002


University of Vermont Plant Diagnostic Clinic

201 Jeffords Building

63 Carrigan Drive

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT 05405


Other pests that can really take advantage of the cool, wet weather are snails and slugs. These slimy pests are generalist feeders, and during prolonged periods of spring rains, can do damage to just about any crop. They are not generally a serious problem, but if they are, they can be easily managed with iron phosphate-based products.


Despite the slow start, insect and mite populations in hopyards are on the rise. The first generation of potato leafhoppers have made their perennial journey up from the south and have begun to lay their eggs throughout the region. We have also begun to find pockets of hop aphids and two-spotted spider mites. The good news is that along with these problematic species, we have also been finding plenty of beneficial insects that can lend a hand in managing the pests.  We have been finding spider mite destroyers, plenty of their ladybug cousins, and the distinctively stalked lacewing eggs and crowned predacious stink bug eggs foreshadow good news to come.


For more information about the organisms discussed above, and plenty more, please check out our hops program website: http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/hops


And of course, keep calm and hop on…


Plant/Insect Diagnostic Clinic Information

Posted: June 17th, 2013 by hoppenin

We have been receiving inquiries from folks who are wondering about diseases and insects in their hopyards. The UVM Extension website has some wonderful information that can allow you to identify and try to manage these issues on your own. However, if you are looking for reassurance, and/or suggestions to try and minimize damages, the UVM Plant Diagnostic clinic can be a very beneficial resource! The cost is $ 15.00 per sample, and please be sure to closely follow their special instructions. This will ensure accurate results. A link to the specimen form is below, this will need to be filled out and sent in with your sample.


We hope everyone’s hops are growing well!


Pest Scouting In Your Hopyard

Posted: May 23rd, 2013 by hoppenin

Hello Hop Enthusiasts,

Our resident entomologist Scott Lewins will be conducting farm visits throughout the summer to scout hopyards for pests. If interested, please contact him at Scott.Lewins@uvm.edu. He is planning on visiting each farm at least once, but if you get your requests in early, he may be able to assist more frequently.

Keep calm and hop on

Hops Crowning Video

Posted: May 13th, 2013 by hoppenin

Here is the link to the hops crowning video :

Crowning is used as an early season preventative measure against downy mildew.  In this video,  Dr. Heather Darby describes what downy mildew is, and some warning signs to look for when evaluating your hop plants.

Unfortunately, we did recognize downy mildew on some of our plants while  scouting last week.  It appeared in both plants that were crowned and controls. shortly thereafter we sprayed the yard with an organic fungicide as a tool to hopefully slow or cull the spread of the pathogen.

We’ll keep you updated as the season continues. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance.

Keep Calm and Hop On

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