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.
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 fungi or bacteria like powdery mildew or fireblight, or insect-pests like two-spotted spider mites, which can quickly lay waste to your entire 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 devastating pests.
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.
Disease takes from the natural immunity, nutrients, and health of your plant. When disease strikes hops, they are unable to thrive and reach their full potential as a crop. This is why disease prevention and treatment is very important for all hop operations.
Black rot and Fusarium wilt are common diseases in hop populations. The presense of fungal and bacterial diseases can have very detrimental impacts on the success of your operation. To prevent disruption from pathogens, be sure to implement a fungicide-bactericide into your IPM plan.
Fortunately, Kemin has solutions to help you manage troublesome pests.
Start with our TetraCURB™ Concentrate solution for commercial growers. This is a rosemary oil-based contact miticide-insecticide 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 mites and small, soft-bodied insects such as aphids and whiteflies. 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 a new option for organic growers to help manage pest pressure throughout the cropping season. With a high concentration of active ingredients formulated with a unique blend of botanical oils, TetraCURB Organic is a very effective contact miticide-insecticide and repellent that provides mite and small, soft-bodied insect control for a wide range of specialty crops with a zero-day PHI and zero-hour REI.
Another Kemin product useful for producing high-quality hop is Valena™ - a unique sustainable soil amendment made of Kemin’s proprietary strain of unicellular Euglena gracilis algae, that primes the soil and help increase uptake efficiency for optimal crop growth. So farmers can improve their crop output, yield and overall plant health.
A botanical oil-based, broad-spectrum, contact fungicide-bactericide that contains thyme oil as the active ingredient. Thymox Control® efficacy is powered by an innovative nano emulsion technology that delivers billions of nano-size droplets of thyme oil for superior contact and higher killing effect.
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.