As a result of our recent work with plant pathologists and plant health testing lab, we provide the following 2019 hop stock product statement:
In August 2017, with unexpected levels of humidity in our hopyard combined with our experiment in non-stripping and mulching of the rows, we experienced what we now have confirmed as hop downy mildew in our hop foliage. Since this occurrence, we proactively removed all foliar debris by fall burning and tested the hopyard rhizomes for latent infection.
What we know now is that downy mildew is endemic in hop plants across the North American hop industry (1,2). As a result, we have randomly tested rhizomes across our hopyard. The results came back negative (no downy mildew evident in the rhizomes) (2). This may mean that the fungal spore life cycle was localized and contained to the 2017 hop foliage (3).
We are looking forward to the 2018 season with a return to vigorous management practices of no mulch, stripping leaves below 4 feet, and pragmatic use of irrigation and fertilizer. These are management good practices implemented in most hopyards to control endemic hop industry diseases (4,5).
Our guarantee to you is to transparently share the information of our plant stock in a timely way and to follow industry standard practices to test for and minimize risk of transmission of diseases in propagative material.
Our promise to you is that our hop stock (rhizomes and plants) is of good quality as it leaves our farm as informed by random batch testing at certified labs.