Our Goal for this Blog

Over the years we have received and continue to receive numerous phone calls and emails asking many different farm related questions. Our thought is that we would try out a blog to keep people up to date on what we are doing here on Puterbaugh Farms and at Hops Direct.

We will just jump right into where we are at in the growing season with a very brief look at what it took to get the hops to the stage they are in now. If interest is actually shown and people are looking for more information we will continue through the winter and pick up the beginning next spring, which will allow everyone to get a feel for what a full crop year looks like from a hop grower's perspective and all of the many challenges involved. We hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hop Downy Mildew

Hop Downy Mildew is a fungus specifically related to hops (Humulus Lupulus), its only host. Downy mildew can be diagnosed in many different ways, but at this stage in the season downy mildew appears as dark blackish spots on the underside of leaves near the crown, hopefully not at all though. In the worst cases if downy mildew is not controlled it will rise up through the bines where it will start to infect the cones, if not addressed before bloom.

Downy mildew can attack hops very rapidly when there are conditions of high humidity and stagnant air in the hop yards (see Burn Back and Stripping). Most of the damage inflicted by downy mildew occurs at the base of the hop, wrecking havoc on the crowns themselves promoting root rot and infecting the shoots in early spring when they rise out of the ground. Here on the farm if we see downy mildew in the yards we do our best control it with increased airflow and the removal of infected crowns from the yards.

Luckily I do not have any pictures of downy mildew at the moment (this is a good thing for us), powdery mildew is another story though. Please feel free to look at the following sites for more detailed information on downy mildew:

Oregon State University Plant Disease Control:
http://plant-disease.ippc.orst.edu/disease.cfm?RecordID=599

University of Idaho Department of Plant, Soil, & Entomological Sciences:
http://www.ag.uidaho.edu/PSES/Research/r_ent_hoppest_downymildew.htm

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