‘New Directions’ for a Specialty Crop in Ontario: Hops

Growing_Hops_Ontario_Logo_5 with shading“Hops: a potential niche crop for Ontario” is a three year research project led by the University of Guelph and funded by OMAFRA’s New Directions Research Program.  When the project was conceived in 2011, its purpose was to provide baseline data on hops production in Ontario and help provide answers to the majority of questions received by growers.

The main objectives of the project include:
1. Identify market opportunities for hop production in Ontario; and,
2. Evaluate commercial hop cultivars under Ontario growing conditions for plant establishment and vigour, susceptibility to insect pests and diseases, yield and visual quality of cones, levels of hop resin components, and winter hardiness.

As a lead up to the University of Guelph’s Hop Research Twilight Meeting (July 23, 2015), which will provide more in-depth information of project findings, here is a summary of the initial reports and results to date:

Establishment Year,  2013 Growing Season 
Overview of cultivar evaluation (variety trial) and pest complexes, 2013
Summary of resin analysis in replicated field trial, 2013

Year 2, 2014 Growing Season
Overview of cultivar evaluation (variety trial) and pest complexes, 2014
Summary of resin analysis from grower samples, 2014
Available soon: Summary of resin analysis in replicated field trial, 2014

During the twilight meeting, Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald’s team from the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph will discuss cultivar and pest management results to date of the three year project (2013-2015).  They will also provide a brief overview of hop downy mildew research conducted by the team over the past few years. The research update will also feature a presentation and discussion of market opportunities and grower/brewer survey results completed in 2013-2014 by Elliott Currie, Associate Professor in the Department of Management (College of Business & Economics) of the University of Guelph.

Additionally, Dr. Melanie Filotas and Evan Elford (OMAFRA) will provide an overview of other applied hop research projects during a tour of the research hop yard.  These projects include a frost management trial and leaf stripping trial.

Establishment year, Spring 2013





Research yard establishment year , Spring 2013

Year 2, Spring 2014

Research yard, Year 2, August 2014




Year 2, Spring, Summer, & Autumn, 2014

Thank you to supporting project partners: OMAFRA, University of Guelph, Loyalist College, Erie Innovation and Commercialization, Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario Hop Growers’ Association, and various commercial Ontario hop growers.

If you are interested in attending the Hop Research Twilight Meeting, please RSVP to the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1.877.424.1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca

Project Partners

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