Hop Growers of Michigan

  • Integrated pest management in hops
    • Diseases (Halo Blight, Downy, Powdery mildew, etc.): Continue the fine work MSU has already done to evaluate new products and establish effective spray programs for Michigan hop growers. Evaluate post-harvest treatments including the pros-cons of fall crown cleaning vs potential winter kill from winter exposure. Look into alternative or non-chemical and cultural control strategies.
    • Viruses: Progress has been made in diagnosing virus in Michigan and systems are in place to help reduce virus issues in plant material. However, the implications of viruses and viroids on yield, quality and longevity remain undefined.
    • Insects, Weeds, and Nematodes: Continue to monitor and provide recommendations to control established (mites, aphids, borers, etc.) and new (eg. spotted lantern fly) insect pests; Develop strategies to reduce weed competition in hopyards: Nematodes are a major concern for hop producers. Initial survey work has indicated that nematodes may significantly impact hop production in Michigan.
  • Fertility and nutrient management
    • Research best management practices (eg. SAP analysis, cover crops, etc.) to develop farm-specific fertility/nutrient management plans that optimize hop yields and quality
    • Improve environmental stewardship (eg. optimizing Nitrogen rates and timing to minimize nitrate leaching).
  • Marketing and promotion of Michigan-grown hops
    • Guidance on developing and implementing a formal promotion program for Michigan hops.
    • Increased access and visibility with brewers/customers.
  • Research to improve hop quality and differentiate Michigan hops in the marketplace (regional identity, terroir, new cultivars)
    • Sensory and chemical analysis to determine unique aroma profiles of Michigan hops
    • Research to optimize harvest timing
    • Evaluate advanced/elite breeding lines in field trials under Michigan growing conditions (Eg. Hop Quality Group, USDA) by determining agronomics (yields, quality, HSI, etc.) and brewing potential
  • Hop plant replacement strategy
    • With the potential for Diaporthe and Mildews to cause a progressive degradation of hop quality and yields, what is the business case for replacing acreage? In other words, help hop growers do the agronomics and “how to” of removing and planting new virus free plants. When does it make good business sense?


Updated October 2023