Until now, commercial hop (Humulus lupulus L.) production has not occurred in the northeast (NE) region of the United States for 150 years. 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. Nationally, there has been recent and unprecedented growth in the craft beer sector, which has dramatically increased demand for local hop production.
There are more than 400 acres of hops in the Northeast with hop yards ranging in size from 0.25 to 25 acres. Hop yields in the region are often limited by pest damage and nutrient deficiencies. This is a reemerging industry in the Northeast and growers are asking for research to determine practices that will help them optimize hop yield. Yields reach 1500-2000 lbs/acre in other production regions yet most NE growers are below 800 lbs/acre. The investment to start a hop farm is significant and higher yields must be achieved to help growers be successful and profitable. The goal of this research project was to identify proper nitrogen (N) rate and timing to optimize hop yield and quality.
Vermont, University of Vermont, hop
Darby, Heather; Bruce, John; Lewins, Scott; and Krezinski, Ivy, "Hop Nitrogen Fertility Trial" (2019). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 369.