This year we are once again bringing you closer to the Hallertau with our entertaining HopUpdates video, produced directly on-site in the hop fields by our experts. With the HopUpdates, you will learn first-hand about plant development and the outlook for the new hop harvest.
We are here in a hop garden of the Herkules variety. This has recently been tilled. Hop tillage is a very important soil cultivation. First, it fixes the vine base. Second, and even more important, it brings loose, fresh, nutrient-rich soil to the planting row. The vines can then form their summer roots or adventitious roots in this soil to ensure the supply of nutrients and water during the main vegetation period. And third, the mechanical-biological control of weedsand young sprouting shoots. By covering them with soil, they are very effectively prevented from sprouting and continuing to grow.
Currently there is the phase of vegetative growth. The hops have a height of 4-5 meters. This means that three quarters of the trellis height has been reached and we are now facing a growth delay of just under 2 weeks. This delay is due to the weather. April and May were extremely cold this year, the coldest April and May in 40 years. Accordingly, the plants developed much more slowly, so that at the end of May we had a growth backlog of no less than 3 weeks. June with its summery warm weather helped to shorten this and we expect a growth delay of about 1 week until end of June if the weather continues.
The special weather situation also has an impact on diseases and pests. In fungal diseases area-wide control measures against downy mildew were necessary immediately after the rainy May. Currently, the situation is under control again, while powdery mildew is emerging in susceptible varieties. Due to the cold spring, the appearance of the aphid and the spider mite has been significantly delayed. Especially in young hop gardens, there were sometimes problems with damage on leaves and shoots caused by slugs in this wet spring.
The basis for hop yield and alpha acid is created by the weather conditions in July and August.
So we can all be curious about the new HopUpdate in July!