Soil Fertility and Soil Health in Hops


Research in hop production has primarily focused on integrated pest management (IPM) and disease control with very little attention provided to soil fertility and soil health. However, soil fertility and health have consistently been identified by North Central hop growers as a critical area where they need better information for effective management. Our research aims to address this knowledge gap with the following objectives:

  • Document relationships between soil fertility and soil health with hop cone quality and yield
  • Develop sufficiency level values for leaf petiole nitrate in hops specific to the Midwest region
  • Develop educational materials and continue outreach efforts focused on soil health and nutrient management for Midwest hopyards


To complete this research we need the help of hop farmers! 


What we are asking of farmer cooperators:

  1. Ideally, a cooperator will commit to participating for 2 field seasons.
  2. Cooperators will perform all sample collection (following detailed instructions) and mail samples in provided shipping containers.
  3. Fill out a short management questionnaire survey so we can collect basic information to correlate to results from our data analysis.

What farmer cooperators can expect from us:

  1. We will provide all items necessary to collect and ship requested samples (soil, petiole, and cones).
  2. Cooperators will receive all raw data as well as a summary report of our findings. These will be provided each year with a final overall summary at the conclusion of the study.
  3. We will form a farmer-advisory board to vet our research priorities and practices and provide feedback on our outreach plans. They will ensure our goals align with farmer interests and constraints and will evaluate progress made by the team.


Interested farmers can sign up at: or contact a team member below: