Hops

Hop Growers of Michigan

  • Disease management - Specifically Diaporthe / Halo blight
    • This new hop disease in Michigan has become devastating to the vast majority of commercial hop acreage in Michigan. Many farms are experiencing a 50% loss in yields due to hop cone shatter during harvest. Hop quality is compromised as well with the browning of the cones and a lack of understanding on the quality of effected cones.
    • In addition to the work currently being done by Dr. Tim Miles, there needs to be additional resources that will validate products needed, and help getting them authorized for use on hops.
  • Integrated pest management in hops
    • Downy and Powdery mildew: 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.
    • Nematodes: Nematodes are a major concern for hop producers. Initial survey work has indicated that nematodes may significantly impact hop production in Michigan.

  • Marketing and promotion of Michigan-grown hops
    • Guidance on developing and implementing a formal promotion program for Michigan hops.
    • Assistance in differentiation Michigan hops in the market place (terrioir, etc.)
    • Increased access and visibility with brewers/customers.

  • Hop plant replacement strategy
    • With Diaporthe and Mildews causing 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 August 2021