Commercial hop production is a growing industry. Craft beer brewing has surged dramatically over the last three decades, and all of those small breweries across the United States are now looking for local hop growers to supply them.1
Hops, or hop cones, are flowers that grow on an herbaceous perennial known as Humulus lupulus.2 As any experienced beer-maker knows, hops are a critical feature of the brewing process — they provide the characteristic bitterness, flavor and aroma of beer, in addition to their antimicrobial properties.3-4 Hops grow in many different varieties that affect the taste and composition of each particular brew.
If you are a hop grower, you're not alone. In fact, the United States is one of the leading countries in hop production.
As a hop grower, your job is to grow hops for beer. Hop crop production can take the form of conventionally grown raw hops or organically grown hops. If growing high-quality hops is your goal, you will overcome a variety of challenges, including growing hops that are pest-resistant and achieving quality growth with a limited supply of nitrogen.5
Other challenges you may face can include weeds and pests like two-spotted spider mites, which can quickly lay waste to your complete hop crop.6 Fortunately, Kemin provides high-quality solutions for growing hops successfully in all conditions and situations, particularly when it comes to the issue of spider mites.
One of the hop grower’s greatest enemies is the two-spotted spider mite.6 This widespread crop pest loves the hot and dry conditions often found in hop fields. They cover your crops with an unsightly white webbing, which protects them from predators and pesticides. Then, they feed on the liquid inside plant cells, doing dramatic damage to the hop plant and cones, reducing yields and negatively affecting hop quality.7-8
Spider mites are the bane of many crop growers, including hops cultivators, for a number of reasons. Conventionally-grown raw hops tend to be inadequate when it comes to shaking off pesticide residue. A study by Hengel and Shibamoto (2002)9 found relatively high levels of pesticide residue on hops treated with seven common commercial pesticides. What’s worse, spider mites tend to be highly resistant to such pesticides anyway.
Fortunately, Kemin has solutions to help you manage difficult pests, especially two-spotted spider mites.
Start with our TetraCURB™ Concentrate mite control solution for commercial growers. This is a rosemary oil-based contact miticide treatment made from our proprietary lines of rosemary plants. It's an environmentally-friendly product with no phytotoxicity that is highly effective at killing or repelling two spotted spider mites. Our product is exempt from residue tolerances in the U.S. and is an ideal foundation for a quality integrated pest management program.
TetraCURB™ Organic is an OMRI Listed® contact miticide and repellent that provides effective mite control for a wide range of specialty crops with a zero-day PHI. With a high concentration of active ingredients formulated with a unique blend of botanical oils, TetraCURB Organic is a new option for organic growers to help manage mite pressure throughout the cropping season.
Another Kemin product useful for producing quality hop crops is our Valena™, a unique sustainable soil amendment that helps promote optimal crop growth*.
1 Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, A Bright Future for Hops Farmers in Michigan. Link:https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/From-the-Field/North-Central-SARE-From-the-Field/A-Bright-Future-for-Hops-Farmers-in-Michigan
2Humulus lupulus - Hops Entry, Sean Conway and Reid Snyder. College Seminar 235 Food for Thought: The Science, Culture, & Politics of Food Spring 2008
3 Plants For A Future, 1996-2003 (http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Humulus+lupulus)
4 Challenges and Opportunities for Organic Hop Production in the United States Samuel F. Turner, Chris A. Benedict, Heather Darby, Lori A. Hoagland, Peter Simonson, J. Robert Sirrine, and Kevin M. Murphy
5 Hop Growers of America, 2016 Statistical Report
6 IHGC Economic Commission November 2016 report. US figures estimated prior to publication of USDA-NASS National Hop Report. Prepared by HGA.
7The Two-Spotted Spider Mite in the Northeast Hopyard Steve Miller, Cornell Hops Specialist
8 Two-spotted spider mite numbers up in hopyards. Erin Lizotte, Michigan State University Extension, July 31, 2015
9 Challenges and Opportunities for Organic Hop Production in the United States Samuel F. Turner, Chris A. Benedict, Heather Darby,Lori A. Hoagland, Peter Simonson, J. Robert Sirrine, and Kevin M. Murphy.
10 Kemin document: TL-18-00007.