33 research outputs found

    Hop Pest Scouting Report

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    During the 2016 growing season, the major pest challenges we encountered at the hop yard at the Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, Vermont were two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae), and hop downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora humuli)

    Hop Crowning Trial Final Report

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    Downy mildew has been identified as the primary pathogen plaguing our northeastern hop yards. This disease causes reduced yield, poor hop quality, and can cause the plant to die in severe cases. Control measures that reduce disease infection and spread while minimizing the impact on the environment, are desperately needed for the region. Mechanical control is one means to reduce downy mildew pressure in hop yards. Scratching, pruning, or crowning is a practice initiated in the early spring either before or at the time that new growth has just emerged from the soil

    Hop Harvest Timing

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    In the Northeast, hop harvest generally begins in mid-August and continues through mid-September. Harvest date is primarily dependent on the hop variety but weather can delay or hasten maturation and impact when harvest will occur. In addition to weather, various pests, such as spider mites and downy mildew, can similarly impact harvest timing. The time at which you harvest hops can affect the various qualities of your finished product. Alpha and beta acid content peaks before many essential oils have fully developed. Delaying harvest can provide time for these oils to develop but increases the amount of time the hops are left vulnerable to disease and fall rains which can result in degradation of resins

    Sunflower Insect Monitoring Projects

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    During the 2013 growing season, UVM Extension’s Northwest Crops & Soils Program conducted studies to document the prevalence and impact of sunflower insect pests. Understanding the pest pressures unique to this region is crucial in producing a viable crop. Surveys of sunflower fields in the Northeast have shown that though plant populations are similar to the national averages, estimated yields are lower, primarily due to pest issues. Entire sunflower fields have been lost to pest pressures such as birds, weeds, insects, and disease, but Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies can help sunflower growers mitigate these problems

    Hop Crowning Trial

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    Downy mildew has been identified as the primary pathogen plaguing our northeastern hop yards. This disease causes reduced yield, poor hop quality, and can cause the plant to die in severe cases. Control measures that reduce disease infection and spread while minimizing the impact on the environment, are desperately needed for the region. Mechanical control is one means to reduce downy mildew pressure in hop yards. Scratching, pruning, or crowning is a practice initiated in the early spring when new growth has just emerged from the soil

    Hop Biofungicide Trial

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    Downy mildew has been identified as the primary pathogen plaguing northeastern hop yards. This disease causes reduced yield, poor hop quality, and, in severe cases, plant death. Control measures that reduce disease incidence and have a low environmental impact are desperately needed for the region. Regular application of protectant fungicide sprays is an effective method for managing downy mildew pressure in hop yards. However, regular chemical applications can lead to residual toxicity in the soil and have a negative effect on beneficial organisms. Extended use of protectant and curative fungicides can also lead to pathogen resistance. The goal of this project was to evaluate the efficacy of organic approved biofungicides with a variety of active ingredients for control of downy mildew in hops

    Hop Optimal Irrigation Trial

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    Hops reportedly use about 610 to 715 mm (24 to 28 inches) of water per year (Evans 2003). Rainfall can contribute to this total, however, due to climatic variability, it is important that hops are irrigated regularly to combat moisture stress. Moisture deficit during the hop growing season has been shown to cause reductions in hop cone yield (Hnilickova et al. 2009). Irrigation systems can help to alleviate some of the potential drought stress, but timing of water application is just as important as the amount of water hops are receiving. Hops require the majority of their water in the critical period between training and flowering for optimal vegetative growth. The hop yard is irrigated through a well-fed drip irrigation system, which delivers 3000 gal ac-1 each week, beginning in late May. Over the 14-week irrigation period, this equates to 1.54 inches of water, or 0.11 inches each week, which is well below the 23.5 inches required, adjusting for potential evapotranspiration. The goal of this project was to evaluate differences in yield, insect pests, and disease presence between plants at the Borderview Research Farm that were watered at the optimal level, and plants that were irrigated at the level sustained by the on-farm well

    Beneficial Exclusion Experiment

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    There are over 400 acres of hops currently in production within the Northeast with many new growers coming onto the scene. While hop production in the Northeast continues to rebound, many farmers are looking for additional information and clarity on how pests can impact their crop production. Compared to the Pacific Northwest and other hop growing regions around the world, we do not currently have a clear understanding of the role and impact that beneficial insects have within our hop yards. It is particularly important to quantify the benefit that natural enemies provide in order to help determine economic and action thresholds for hop pests

    Hop Germplasm Study

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    Until now, commercial hop (Humulus lupulus L.) production has not occurred in the northeast (NE) region of the United States for 150 years. Vermont production peaked in 1860 when the state produced 289,690 kg of dried hops (Kennedy 1860). A combination of the spread of hop downy mildew, the expansion of production in western states, and prohibition laws from the 1920’s contributed to the decline of the 19th century NE hop industry. Today, the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho remain the dominant hop production sites of the U.S. However, hop production in non-traditional regions is growing and now accounts for over 2% of the total U.S. hop acreage (George, A., 2014). Nationally, there has been recent and unprecedented growth in the craft beer sector which has dramatically increased demand for local hop production

    The Influence of Predator Species Richness on Prey Mortality: Implications to Conservation Biological Control.

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    Understanding how changes in biodiversity affect the function of agroecosystems is paramount to conservation biological control. The Species Assemblage Control Hypothesis predicts increasing species richness of predator assemblages can increase the assemblages' ability to suppress pests. I hypothesized that an increase in species richness of a predator assemblage leads to an increase in prey mortality and predator species identity can alter the relationship. An assemblage of predators identified from an assessment of a collard agroecosystem was evaluated to find that only some predators fed on larval Pieris rapae, they did not differ in their per capita consumption, and some intraguild predation occurred. In testing the hypotheses I found a significant relationship between predator species richness and prey mortality; however, predator species identity altered the relationship. These findings highlight the importance in understanding predator assemblages before conservation decisions that effectively suppress pests can be made
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