Thursday, May 17, 2012

Downy Mildew on Hops

We have some diseases or disorders showing up on some of the hops in our variety trial in Mills River, so we have been sending samples to the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic at NC State University. They have not been able to identify one fast growing fungi present on many of the samples. I will let you know what that is as soon as the pathologists have a positive identification.

I did want you to know right away that we did get a positive identification for Downy Mildew on the variety, Galena. You should be scouting your hop yards several times a week and reviewing what Downy Mildew looks like.

Sue Colucci, extension agent and pathologist in our area, did a good blog piece (with great pictures and control recommendations) on Downy Mildew on hops that you can access here: Downy Mildew on Hops in Western NC.

If you suspect that you have Downy Mildew, sent a sample (use an overnight service and do not send on Friday) to the NCSU Plant Disease and Insect Clinic. I encourage you to report your findings on the Southern Appalachian Hops Guild blog. I'm of the opinion that the more we share information on our hops growing experiences, the faster we will find solutions to our challenges and grow this industry.


  1. Hello there. I’ve been growing hops for personal use for 3 years now up here on the Eastern Shore of MD. I was pointed to this blog today by my brother. I was wondering if you had pictures of the disorder you are talking about? I grow Cascade, Nugget, and Chinook up here with great success. I have some pictures up on my blog. I’m an NC native and plan to move back as soon as possible and hope to start a brewery/farm so this site is perfect. Thanks for doing this.

    1. Atomic Donkey, for good pictures of downy mildew please go to Sue Colucci's blog post about it that I link to above (in my blog post). Lots of hops growers across the country are finding downy mildew right now. Here on the east coast we are going to have to learn which management strategies from the west coast work for us and which varieties have the most resistance. In the meantime, it's tough to watch these plants be attacked so early in the season! We will post more pictures soon. I was waiting for positive identification from our pathologists; don't want to steer you wrong.