The hops growing season is consumed with tactical activities like bine training, scouting for pests, maintaining plant health, harvesting cones, and sales. However, managing your hop yard is far from complete once the last cones are separated from the bines. Strategic actions to take now address: after harvest sanitation, soil fertility, drip irrigation, taking a weed inventory, and getting a Pesticide Applicator License.
Sanitation to Reduce Future Pests and Diseases
Postharvest sanitation of the hop yard is your first line of defense against future disease and insect problems.
Leftover refuse from harvest and uncut bines should be removed after the first hard freeze as they harbor fungal spores or live insects. Waiting until after the first hard freeze reduces levels of pests on the debris and reduces spreading problems to unaffected areas.
Collected plant debris with pest infestations can be burned by obtaining an Open Burning Permit from the NJDEP Forest Fire Service. Permit fees are $10 for a 30-day period and need to be signed by your Agricultural Agent certifying the reason for burning is due to disease infection. Forms are available from your agricultural extension office. [Read more…]