Thursday, February 9, 2017

NC Hops: Disease and Insect Control Recommendations

We get many questions on how to grow hops and what can be used on hops to control diseases and insects. Growers often turn to the internet for answers, but particularly in the case of hops, what works in one area might not work in another. Most of the hops grown in the U.S. are produced in the Pacific Northwest where the summer days are long, the climate is hot and dry, and soils are alkaline. Here in the Southeast our longest summer day is really a bit too short for the commercial hop varieties that are available to us. Our climate is hot and wet and our soils are acidic. We experience more disease pressure and encounter some insects not often seen in the Pacific Northwest. So, recommendations for growing hops in the Southeast is different from those you'll find for growing them in places such as Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Michigan, and New York.

So last summer, extension horticulturists, entomologists, and pathologists from across the Southeastern U.S. came together to update the Southeastern Vegetable Crop Handbook and this time we decided to include hops. In time we will have a production manual dedicated just to hops, but we wanted to make this information readily available to growers and extension agents and this annually revised handbook, available in print and on-line, seemed like the best way to do it.

Below is a link to the on-line pdf version of the handbook. The cultural practices for growing hops and recommended varieties can be found on page 60. In the back of the book you will find insect management recommendations (i.e., insecticides and miticides) on page 141 in Table 2-12. Disease control management recommendations (i.e., fungicides) can be found on page 190 in Table 3-18. Remember to always read and follow label directions.

And that the 2017 South Atlantic Hops Conference will be held on March 24 and 25 in Asheville, NC. We expect to sell out again this year, especially for tickets that include the tours on Friday, so don't delay. Below is a link to the Eventbrite page for more information and tickets.

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