As we approach the 2018 growing season, questions regarding hop fertility are on the increase. Looking back on 2017, there are some key fertility messages to be thinking about as we head into this year’s production cycle.
With above normal rainfall in many regions during 2017 (and saturated soils in some cases) mobile nutrients such as nitrogen, in nitrate form, may have been leached from the soil more rapidly than in a normal rainfall year. The reduction in available nitrogen during the 2017 season may have negatively affected plant vigour and reduced plant reserves for 2018. Additionally, plants that did not reach full canopy in 2017 will have reduced reserves to draw on for this year’s production. Nutrient deficiencies may be more visible during rapid plant growth stages in the spring due to last year’s environmental conditions. Therefore, plant nutrition will be very important to focus on this year in order to realize optimal yields.
There are currently no official Ontario fertility recommendations for hops. The following information on lime, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) applications are guidelines only and provided for reference based on similar common crops and published research on hops in other jurisdictions (note: lime, phosphorus and potassium should always be applied according to a soil test).
Click the following link for a PDF version of Hop Fertility Guidelines 2018 (including Lime, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium compiled into one document).
Previous postings related to spring hop fertility: