Hop powdery mildew control through alteration of spring pruning practices

Claudia Probst, David Gent, Sierra Wolfenbarger, Mark Nelson, Gary G Grove, Megan C Twomey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Podosphaera macularis, the causal agent of hop powdery mildew, is a recurrent threat to hops in the Pacific Northwest because of the potential to reduce cone yield and quality. Early-season pruning is a common practice in hop production for horticultural reasons. Studies were conducted over a 3-year period in a commercial hop yard to quantify the effect of pruning method and timing on disease development, yield, and cone quality factors. A 4-week delay in pruning reduced the incidence of leaves with powdery mildew from 46 to 10% and cones from 9 to 1%, with the specific effect being season dependent. Pruning using chemical desiccants rather than by mechanical means had similar effects on disease levels on leaves. On cones, though, chemical pruning had a small but significant reduction in the incidence of powdery mildew compared with mechanical pruning. Cone yield, levels of bittering-acids, and color were not negatively affected in any individual year or cumulatively over three seasons when pruning treatments were applied repeatedly to the same plots during the study period. Delayed pruning may offer a low-cost means of reducing both the incidence of powdery mildew and earlyseason fungicide inputs in certain cultivars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1605
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Hopfen
  • hops
  • Echter Mehltau
  • Powdery mildew
  • spring pruning
  • disease control
  • Pflanzenschutz


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