Hops are a perennial specialty crop grown primarily for the beer brewing industry. Establishing a hop yard requires a significant investment of time and money, especially for trellising materials and harvesting equipment. Hops usually are not harvested their first year, since they produce mature yields after 2-3 years. Once established, hop plants may be in production for over 50 years. It is therefore critical to establish yards with healthy plants free from diseases that can significantly lower quality and yields, requiring the plants to be replaced after only a few years.
At Summit Plant Labs, field-ready hop transplants are grown from laboratory propagated material. Once these laboratory “plantlets” have generated a few leaves and small roots, they are ready to be moved into our greenhouses for finishing. Sterile, soil-less potting mix inoculated with mycorrhiza and standard sized nursery 48-cell flats are used.
After approximately 4 to 6 weeks within the greenhouse, they are suitable for shipping to farms in the contiguous U.S. Hop plugs have a height above the root ball that is approximately 4-10 inches, and a root mass that is 1 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 2 inches. First year hops transplanted mid-May in the field typically grow to heights of 10-20 feet if trellised. Hops can be transplanted throughout the summer, right up until the first frost date.
Our sterile laboratory and greenhouse techniques assures plant protection from major and minor hop fungal, virus, viroid and bacterial diseases. All of our hop lines have tested negative for the following important hop viroid and viruses:
Click above to learn more about these diseases