(This pest is capable of defoliating entire plants in less than a week)
For quick knockdown of a Japanese beetle /Potato leafhopper outbreak for growers with RUP certification - check out Brigade 2ec or Leverage 360/2.7. Both are labelled for hops.
TO DO LIST
- Soil checks for moisture, root health, fertility and soluble salts levels
- Weed seedling identification to determine if they are an alternate host for pests
- Checking trap plants and multiple Hop plants, top to bottom, for active diseases and pests
- Monitoring of hop developmental stages, foliage / bine color & vigor- bottom, middle, and shoot tips
- Checking the hopyard infrastructure - trellis, supports, irrigation lines- all OK?
- Tracking of weather patterns - rainfall amounts, humidity levels, hopyards soil and air temperatures
- Accurate records of any and all chemicals with wind, temp, time of day - 3 day checks for after-effects
- Keeping a detailed record of above observations with dates, unusual events, effects of control sprays
If this sounds like too much work; please do consider hiring a professional crop scout. They know what to look for and when to look for it. Their services are relatively inexpensive and their advice - priceless.
Properly done scouting and recording what you see in detail lets you identify patterns and conditions that affect the hop's growth and what conditions trigger disease and pest outbreaks. I recommend making a check-off form you use weekly during the growing season that covers all the above items so you don't miss anything. This will not only make you a better grower- it will make you a PROACTIVE grower. (I like to call them Jedi-growers because they always seem to know what is going to happen before it does.) Proactive growers can make minimal, targeted sprays; anticipating disease and pest cycles. They consistantly adjust - fertilizer, irrigation schedules, cultivation; like a steady clock. They also always seem relatively cheerful and un-stressed. (nice side-effect that both wives and partners seem to appreciate!)
Scouting is something I do habitually 24/7 - I'm looking when I'm watering - I'm looking when I'm weeding- Heck, I'm looking when I walk the dog!