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What's Hoppening: Musings from the Hopyard!

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

Be on the look out for Downy Mildew

Posted: May 10th, 2013 by hoppenin

Get on your IPM scouting hats — the forecasted weather over the next few days is prime for outbreaks of downy mildew! So, scout your hops plants and be prepared to treat them. For a reminder of downy mildew ID and management, visit our factsheet: http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/wp-content/uploads/DownyMildew.pdf

2013 Hops Data Collection Booklet

Posted: May 1st, 2013 by hoppenin

Greetings Fellow Hoppers,

Now available is a 2013 Hops Production Diary. This booklet can be very helpful in tracking patterns and practices in your hopyard. It’s a great way to keep all your information in one place; from field history, to scouting, to a page for every variety, and much much more! Our goal is to eventually compile all of this data in order to further our understanding of hops production in the Northeast– so at the end of the season we’d love to have a copy of your notes. The results will be in aggregate, so all individual information will remain anonymous. You can stop by our office in Saint Albans to pick up a hops diary, or call (802) 524-6501 to request one via mail. You can also print one off using the link below, although this method will not get you a diary in booklet format.

Link: http://www.uvm.edu/extension/cropsoil/wp-content/uploads/Hops-Book-Cornell.pdf

In other news, we shot video of the crowning process at our research farm last week. The video is in the editing stage, and will be made available in the near future.

Keep Calm and Hop On

It’s Hops Season! – Early Season Checklist

Posted: April 17th, 2013 by hoppenin

Greetings from the UVM Extension NW Crops and Soils team!

It’s that time of the year again. Our hop plants are officially up at the Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. If you haven’t already, now might be a good time to start compiling a list of  supplies, as they will become useful during early May in this area. The supply list below is generalized, and every item may not be necessary for your specific operation.

Early Season Hops supply list:

  • Fertilizers/Pesticides/Fungicides
  • Hop clips and rope for training the bines
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Weeding supplies- for rota-tilling/mulching/hand-weeding/steam-weeding
  • Equipment to aid in crowning

On another note, we will be crowning our plants this year for the first time. We didn’t crown the first few growing seasons, in order to allow our plants to grow to their full potential. However, now that our plants are established in their third year, we believe crowning will be a useful preventative measure against early season downy mildew. Crowning will take place later this week, and will involve cutting the top half inch off each bine. A more in-depth video and article of the work is soon to follow.

Please do not hesitate in contacting us with any hops-related questions or comments!



Frost seeding

Posted: February 28th, 2013 by hoppenin

Frost seeding can be a good option in Northeastern hopyards.  Establishing a solid intercrop can help keep down weedy species, and in the case of legumes, can add fertility to your soil.  Frost seeding should occur  in the early spring when the ground freezes at night and thaws during the day.  While frost seeding can be done over a thin layer of snow, it is best to seed it into a field where you can see bare soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.  The freeze-thaw cycle will cause the seed to fall into the cracks in the soil and germinate.  If there is rapid snow melt, however, it can wash the seed right off of the field.  Red and white clovers will work best in your hopyard as they germinate quickly and at cool temperatures.  They should be seeded at 2-4 lbs/acre.

Our very own Dr. Heather Darby wrote an article about frost seeding into hay and pasture land, and the principles are very similar for implementing in a hopyard.  To read the full article, please click here.

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