New York State IPM Program

January 31, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on Hops on top

Hops on top

Sometimes on a snowy evening there’s fine company to be had with good friends and a six-pack from your local brewery. So settle back and take a moment to savor what it took to get you there.

Hops flowers, once fully mature and used wet or properly dried, provide the distinctive taste that brewers build on to craft their beers. Photo provided.

Long ago yet close to home — the mid 19th through the early 20th centuries — New York led the world in hops production. Back then, we supplied that critical beer ingredient for breweries worldwide. But then two new and dastardly fungal diseases blew in and put an end to all that.

Now it’s déjà-vu all over again. With microbreweries and tasting rooms on the upswing, hop yards are too.

Yes, hops can be prey to the usual range of pests lurking in the soil or pathogens drifting in on the wind. But with Cornell’s IPM research there to support farmers, it’s different this time around. Today’s growers have a clear advantage that yesteryear’s famers sorely lacked — detailed production guides that cover a range of new techniques and research on biological and ecological IPM tactics unknown a century ago. Example? Flowering cover crops that not only suppress weeds but serve as a nectary to attract and retain the beneficial insects that keep pests under control.

Cosmos are an old-time favorite for gardeners, but hops growers have learned they provide nectar for minute (as in “tiny”) pirate bugs. These pirate bugs are a welcome predator of a difficult pest — the two-spotted spider mite. Photo provided.

Of course there’s more — much more — and IPM’s presence at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory contributes to careful research now published in the Cornell Integrated Hops Production Guide and available to farmers throughout New York and the Northeast. Let’s raise a glass to the growers and researchers who have made this possible.

Contact NYSIPM educator Tim Weigle at for more info on this project. Learn more about hops production at  Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science. Cornell also has a strong presence at the Northeast Hops Alliance.


December 2, 2014
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on Grape and Hops Winter Workshops: Now!

Grape and Hops Winter Workshops: Now!

It’s that time of year — growers (some of them, anyway) get a break from fieldwork and start taking advantage of workshops around New York.  Here are two, coming right up.

Grape Pruning Workshop

Friday, December 5, 2014 (repeats on or Friday, March 6, 2015)


A vineyard in the Finger Lakes Region. Photo: K. English

Interested in learning how to prune grapevines? Don’t miss the Finger Lakes Grape Program’s hands-on pruning class and demo. A brief indoor session provides time to get familiarized with proper techniques and ask questions. Then outside we go — and everyone will have the opportunity to prune vines on three different training systems. Instructor: Mike Colizzi, Viticulture Community Educator with the Finger Lakes Grape Program. Dress for the weather — and bring your own pruning sheers.

Fee: $25.00/person
Preregistration required. Call Yates County Cooperative Extension at 315-536-5134 or Register on-line

9:00 am – Noon
Finger Lakes Teaching and Demonstration Vineyard
Anthony Road Wine Company
1020 Anthony Road
Penn Yan, NY 14527

Cornell Hops Conference

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Starting a hopyard? Growers take heed: hops vines are high climbers. They’re also perennials. So plant varieties that resist disease, varieties that’ll hang in there for the long haul. Photo: T. Weigle.

A great networking and learning opportunity — meet with brewers, educators, growers, and prospective growers. Registration includes lunch and trade show. The conference consists of one full-day session, all on hops-related topics, along with two additional separate tracks:

  • growing hops for beginners
  • brewing

Please note — seating is limited.

Events & Pricing
Registration Fee: NeHA Members $75.00
Registration Fee: Nonmembers $85.00
Friday Beer Pairing Dinner: $45.00 (only 100 seats available)
Saturday Post-conference Happy Hour: $15.00
Saturday Beer Pairing Dinner: $30 (only 50 seats available; drinks not included)
Click here to register8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Morrisville State College
Morrisville, NY

Northeast Hop Alliance Complete Agenda
For more information contact: Steve Miller or phone 315-684-300 x 127 or Alycia Schick or phone 315-684-3001x 108.

This event is brought to you by the USDA Agriculture/NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Specialty Crop Block Grant, and by a NYS Farm Viability Institute grant.

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