Crop Module: Hops - Red Tractor Assurance

Crop Module: Hops - Red Tractor Assurance
Crop Module: Hops
Effective 1st September 2015
Welcome
T
his crop specific module for hops has been written
to complement and avoid duplicating the generic
principles of the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Fresh
Produce Scheme standards. It is advisable to read the
Red Tractor Farm Assurance Fresh Produce standards
before reading this crop specific module. This module is
designed to stimulate thought in the mind of the reader.
It contains crop specific guidance and standards, where
applicable, in addition to the requirements stated in the
generic Fresh Produce standards.
Within this module the important requirements outlined
in the crop specific standards section will be verified
during the Red Tractor Farm Assurance assessment and
compliance will form a part of the certification/approval
decision.
Disclaimer and trade mark acknowledgement
Although every effort has been made to ensure
accuracy, Assured Food Standards does not accept any
responsibility for errors and omissions. Trade names
are only used in this module where use of that specific
product is essential. All such products are annotated®
and all trademark rights are hereby acknowledged.
Notes: Pesticide Information
General Introduction
Following a systematic approach will help growers identify
and manage the risks involved in crop production. This
module is based on a typical crop production process and
food safety, health & safety, environmental and quality
hazards are identified. Appropriate controls may then
be established to minimise risk. Food safety and health
& safety issues always take precedent over quality and
environmental controls. The layout of this module follows
the same structure as that used in the Red Tractor Farm
Assurance Fresh Produce Standards. The content of the
module is reviewed prior to the issue of updated editions.
The review process considers both new developments
and all relevant technology which has emerged since the
last review was completed and which have been found
to be both workable by the grower and beneficial to the
environment. The aim is to transfer such information and
technologies to growers.
Acknowledgements
Red Tractor Farm Assurance Fresh Produce gratefully
acknowledges the contribution of all consultees in the
preparation of this protocol, particularly members of the
British Hop Association and Peter Glendinning.
The Red Tractor Fresh Produce team has been working
with Fera to provide tailored access to the LIAISON
database for all Red Tractor Fresh Produce members.
This system allows individual growers access to all
information for plant protection products approved for
use under the Red Tractor Fresh Produce Scheme.
LIAISON can be accessed under the Produce tab via the
“Checkers and Services” page where you will also find
a user manual. Searches will be filtered specifically for
the crops for which you are registered. Once you have
logged onto the site and clicked on the LIAISON hyperlink
you will be directed to the LIAISON home screen.
You will need a username and password and these will
be sent once you have registered:
http://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/rtassurance/
services/Registration/members.eb .
Front cover image credit: Peter Glendinning.
1
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
Content
Contents
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS AGAINST CURRENT STANDARDS 02
CROP SPECIFIC STANDARDS02
CHOICE OF VARIETY, ROOTSTOCK AND PLANT HEALTH CERTIFICATION03
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND CONTAMINATION CONTROL04
PEST, DISEASE AND WEED CONTROL 05
NUTRITION 08
HARVEST AND STORAGE 08
RESIDUES AND CONTAMINANTS09
HEALTH AND SAFETY WORKER WELFARE 09
APPENDIX 1: FERTILISER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOPS 10
APPENDIX 2: VERTICILLIUM WILT OF HOPS 11
APPENDIX 3: RECORDS OF PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS 13
APPENDIX 4: HARVEST AND STORAGE CHECKLISTS 14
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS AGAINST CURRENT STANDARDS
None for this crop module
CROP SPECIFIC STANDARDS
RECORDS (to be kept
for 2 years)
STANDARDS
HOW YOU WILL BE MEASURED
CQ.26.a
It is possible to trace the following for
each bale or pocket of hops:
– variety & field name (permitting reference
to the record of pesticide applications)
– harvest date
– kiln or oast number (if appropriate)
time & date of drying
– weight of pocket or bale (and from
which core samples were taken)
– date put into storage or dispatched
Each pocket or bale must be correctly labelled
or marked
CQ.26.b
Hop picking and cleaning machines, and conveyors of
both green and dried hops, are cleaned before harvest
each season and that this is recorded
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
n
op pocket/ bale
H
traceability records
n
leaning records for
C
picking/ cleaning/
conveying machines
© Assured Food Standards 2015
2
STANDARDS
HOW YOU WILL BE MEASURED
RECORDS (to be kept
for 2 years)
CQ.26.c
Smoking must not occur inside the buildings where
hops are being dried, conditioned, pressed and stored
n
Kiln
CQ.26.d
burner service
records
Kiln burners must be checked annually and serviced
to prevent fuel aerosols from fouling the crop
GUIDANCE
CHOICE OF VARIETY OR
ROOTSTOCK AND PLANT HEALTH
CERTIFICATION
Hop plants may be cropped for over 20 years, so it is
important that the original planting is free from debilitating
virus and viroid disease (some of them symptomless).
Specialist hop propagators, located outside the main hop
growing areas, supply certified disease-free stock under
the A-plus approval scheme.
But now there is a new threat to British hops in the form
of Hop Stunt Viroid, which is active in the USA and Asia.
It is important that all hop plants grown in Britain come
from PHPS registered nurseries as these are inspected
by Plant Health officials. If Hop Stunt Viroid were to be
introduced into the UK it would devastate the industry.
So all hop plants should come from a reputable source.
If in any doubt, please speak to Dr. Peter Darby at Wye
Hops Limited. Please don’t risk bringing plant material
from any overseas trip back here.
In addition, it has recently been established that Hop
Stunt Viroid (HSVd) is carried in oranges, the peel of
which can readily infect hop plants. Although grapes and
plums are now carriers of HSVd, the main risk to plant
health in british hops is from discarded orange peel, as
demonstrated in Slovenia in 2013.
Planting records should be kept to demonstrate and
maintain the purity of each variety. All purchases of hop
plants should be logged and planting records for both new
and replacement plants should eliminate any ambiguity.
Please note that within PHPS and Fera, hops have
always been a separate category to fruit and vegetables,
and potatoes.
The greatest threat to plant health in hops is the
introduction of new plant diseases. This is very likely
because the importation of hop plants into the UK is
not subject to any restrictions other than freedom from
wilt disease. Hop Stunt Viroid is a good example of this
problem. As an organism, it is already present in the UK
in grapevines, but it has not yet been found in UK hops
3
and the mechanisms that could enable it to do so are not
known and may not exist. Although it has infected hops in
an EU country (Slovenia) this should serve as a warning.
Logically, it should be treated as a non-indigenous
recognised disease of hops. Since the organism (not
the disease) is already in the UK, FERA will not make
this restriction. Most responsible exporters respect this
problem and the research organisations in the USA, for
example, are not sending untested plants to the EU.
So, since there are no restrictions or inspections of
imported hop plants, private individuals in the USA are
able freely to export plants, and private individuals in the
UK are able to import them without hindrance. There are
already examples of this on-line, and this unregulated
trade is potentially disastrous for the UK hop industry.
There are other non-indigenous diseases of hops such
as American Hop Latent Virus. At the moment, hops
are not a distinct category within the plant health import
procedures. They fall into the general “other plants for
planting” category. There are no grounds to reject a
consignment if the paperwork is in order. The unregulated
casual trade in hops plants may be reduced if hops were
made a distinct category within FERA, making the plant
health inspectors at our ports more aware of them.
The highest priorities for hop plant health should be:
1. Freedom from Hop Stunt Viroid, which should be
added to freedom from wilt, as a requirement for an
EU Plant Passport.
2. Imported hop plants should be specifically declared
‘tested’ and ‘free of Hop Stunt Viroid’ and ‘American
Hop Latent Virus’ as part of the phytosanitary
certificate.
3. Any importation of hop plants, including by private
individuals, should be subject to Plant Health
inspection of the phytosanitary certificate at the point
of entry into the EU.
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION &
CONTAMINATION CONTROL
THE BASIC APPROACH TO CROP PROTECTION
Pest and disease recognition
The hop is a rapidly growing and strongly
three-dimensional plant and since the thresholds for the
presence of the main pests and diseases are at present
all set at zero. There are times when certain levels of
pest infestation can be tolerated, but for diseases this is
not good practice because hops are grown as perennial
plantations in blocks, in which the plants of each variety
are genetically identical.
It is crucial that personnel responsible for crop protection
are able to recognise pests and diseases in their early
stages: a useful set of photos has been circulated
to the industry in .pdf format. The importance of
regular crop inspections for Verticillium wilt cannot be
over-emphasised.
It is useful to record all field examinations, not only to
facilitate the choice of management tools (e.g. fertilisers
and pesticides), but also for future reference to compare
performances between different fields and seasons.
CHOICE OF PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCT
Pesticide Approvals
Lists of pesticide products currently approved by DEFRA
CRD for use on hops in the UK are circulated annually by
the BHA. They are circulated to all growers either directly
or through their Producer Organisations.
It is important that all users of pesticides are familiar
with the instructions and restrictions of individual
pesticide products.
Where relevant, users should be in possession of copies
of ‘Extensions of Authorisation for Minor Use’ (EAMU)
Approval notices. Growers receive copies of these notices
from the BHA as they are issued, but they can also be
obtained by accessing the CRD website e-approvals or
by contacting the British Hop Association. The notices
contain the necessary rates and restrictions for approved
uses on hops.
* Please beware that the CRD website list of Off Label
Extension Approvals for hops does not segregate those
permitted for use on the growing crop intended for harvest,
from those only permitted but with a 12 month harvest
interval, e.g. those being grown as nursery hops or being
idled. In fact the majority of Off Label Approvals listed
are only permitted to be applied if crop is not harvested
within 12 months of the application! The surest way to be
certain is to check the last paragraph of each individual
Notice of Approval document for each chemical, headed
‘Other specific restrictions’.
* Hop growers should also be aware that in addition to
the statutory restrictions placed on pesticides by CRD,
there are also industry restrictions imposed by brewers
through the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA). A
list showing the conditions for the ‘acceptance’ of each
chemical pesticide is published every year as a BBPA
Technical Bulletin circulated to their UK membership
every year, and is often referred to by hop merchants and
hop producer organisations. Although it is an advisory
bulletin, not a legal document, it is used by Brewers
following ‘due diligence’ procedures for raw materials.
However, the BBPA have now started circulating lists of
chemicals used on hops abroad, not just in the UK.
APPROVED USES NOT INCLUDED ON THE
PRODUCT LABEL
In many circumstances, particularly for minor crops,
product labels do not include all of the approved uses
and growers and advisers wishing to check the approval
notice of a particular product should note that this
information is available using the LIAISON® search,
accessible via their Red Tractor Farm Assurance home
page after logging in.
A search on the ‘Extensions of Authorisation for Minor
Use’ page of LIAISON® by crop or product name will
yield a results page. A click on the product name will
link to a summary of the approval information. Near
the bottom of the summary is the Approval Number
(e.g. 0246/09) and this link will open up a pdf of the current
EAMU document giving details of the extension of use.
In the case of products with older approval an electronic
approval may not be available. In these cases growers
should contact the CRD Information Services Branch for
details of the approved conditions of use. Contact details
are: [email protected] tel. 01904 455775. For
various reasons the use of some approved pesticides
may not be acceptable to processors. In order to confirm
to such requirements, proposed applications should be
confirmed with the contracting company.
Application methods for pestcides
Reduced volume spraying is generally regarded as
inappropriate for hops. Growers wishing to adopt lower
volumes must ensure that the restrictions on the pesticide
labels are adhered to.
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
4
RECORDS OF APPLICATION
Recording and reporting
Records of Pesticide Applications should be available
upon request to your Producer Organisation, for its own
records or inspection by its (your) customers. These
should show a minimum of the following information:
n
Title:
Record of pesticide application
n
Year
n
Grower
name
n
Grower
EEC number
n
Pocket
or bale numbers pertaining to the record
n
Variety
n
Field
n
For
name(s)
each date of application:
– Product name(s)
– Active substance
– Justification for use
– Dilution rate of product
– Spray volume
– Rate of product used per hectare
n
Harvest
start and finish dates
n
Authentication
signature
A copy of an example form can be found in the Appendix
(for an electronic copy contact BHA).
PEST, DISEASE AND WEED
CONTROL
PEST CONTROL
Damson hop aphid (Phorodon humuli)
A voracious sap sucker with a tolerance threshold
of zero.
Aphids migrate into hops from May to August. They
prefer to colonise young growth and breed rapidly with up
to eight generations per season. Winged aphids return
to Prunus species starting in August. The infestation in
hops results in a marked reduction in plant vigour, with
premature leaf-drop and yield loss. In addition to direct
physical damage, the contamination of hop cones by
the sooty moulds, feeding off the honey-dew, results in
a reduction in crop quality. Even a trace of these sooty
moulds in a crop can render it unmarketable.
5
All varieties, except Boadicea (a new variety completely
and naturally tolerant) are susceptible to attack by aphids.
Control on some varieties is more difficult than on others,
the worst being those varieties with early maturing large
open cones.
Over the past 30 years the Damson hop aphid has been
one of the most successful in gaining resistance to most
groups of insecticides. Control measures should not rely
on only one active substance, as this will encourage the
development of resistant populations. Growers now have
Movento (spirotetramat) as well as Mainman (flonicamid),
Plenum (pymetrozine) and Admire (imidacloprid)
available to use, although the latter is now largely
ineffective. There is no other useful chemicals registered
for use in the UK, and no other reliable control technique
so growers should be mindful of resistance management
and constantly ‘ring the changes’ regardless of the
difference in costs between these products. As soon as
an aphid develops resistance to a chemical on one farm,
its off-spring will be flying-in to hops on all neighbouring
farms the following season.
Two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae)
Often misnamed ‘red spider mite’ with a threshold
tolerance of zero.
Mites emerge from diapause from early spring to as late
as early June (depending upon temperature - for detailed
research on this refer to work by Dr. C. Campbell at HRI
East Malling). They feed mainly on the underside of leaves
initially causing the characteristic light speckling, followed
by extensive bronzing and bleaching of leaf tissue and
subsequent leaf drop. In severe cases, total defoliation
can occur. The breeding rate of this mite is related to
temperature and relative humidity, and is most favoured
by hot dry conditions. Breeding continues throughout
the growing season and mites return to diapause from
mid-September. Favoured sites for diapause are dry and
sheltered (cracks in hop poles, hollow plant tissue like
straw and old bine material), but significant numbers
over-winter in cracks in the soil surface and between the
scales of the buds on surface hop shoots.
This mite also attacks many other crops in which regular
applications of acaricides may also be required. This has
contributed to the high level of resistance now possessed
by mites against several groups of acaricides.
Growers have to rely on chemical acaricides to control
this persistent pest. Treatments are usually most effective
applied in late May / early June, and then best repeated
within three weeks. The choice of effective approved
acaricides is limited to Agrimec (abamectin) and more
recently Envidor (spirodiclofen). Masai (tebufenpyrad)
is still approved but largely ineffective with resistant
populations now widely developed.
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
There is no other technique established for controlling
the two-spotted spider mite on hops. Despite the
apparent success in other crops using introductions
of predatory mites, further developmental research is
required. Hop propagators can assist growers by using
predatory mites. Of more benefit to the grower is the fact
that numbers of over-wintering mites can be significantly
reduced through the practice of spring pruning or
rank-bining (removing the first flush of shoots in the
spring). Good basal defoliation also benefits mite control.
Other pests of hop
Since UK hop growers have not used OP pesticides for
many years, and have now moved away from using a
basal drench of imidacloprid for aphid control, they are
now seeing an increase in other pests, some of which
have destroyed whole crops in the last few years. These
pests need to be recognised, and when necessary
controlled, but the only chemicals permitted are broad
spectrum pyrethroid insecticides which are so damaging
populations of natural predators that they often cause
further and larger problems with aphids and mites. These
pests may not be new to hops, but they are to most
hop growers.
They mostly prefer a shady environment and growers
are encouraged to keep plants on the thin side. They
are also most damaging to hops on low trellis wirework,
where it is recommended to keep bine numbers between
4 and 8 per metre for optimum yield and to reduce leaf
shading. Growers and agronomists need to familiarise
themselves with the following pests: Hop Flea-Beetle
(Psylliodes attenuatus); European Corn Borer (Ostrinia
nubilalis); Rosy Rustic Moth (Hydraecia micacea); Silver
Wye Moth (Autographa gamma); Currant Pug Moth
(Eupithecia assimilata); Brown banded thrips; and last,
but by no means least, the insidious Common Green
Capsid (Lygocorris pabulinus). British hops are exposed
to the risk of serious crop losses from pests that are
largely unfamiliar to growers and against which there are
no suitable control measures available.
DISEASE CONTROL
Hop Wilt (Verticillium albo atrum)
Responsible for driving many growers out of hop
production, and there is still no cure in sight!
It is essential that all growers and crop advisers are fully
aware of all the symptoms of this the most pernicious
disease of the hop. Extracts from the DEFRA information
sheet ‘Verticillium Wilt of hops’ can be found in
the Appendix.
In the absence of statutory measures to control the
spread of this disease, Producer Organisations should
take the initiative by demanding best practice of their
members. Simple restrictions could be entered into the
‘Common Rules of Production’ that form part of the legal
agreement between each hop producer organisation and
its individual grower members.
Hop downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora humuli)
No hop variety is immune from attack, but they all differ
in their response to the disease. It is almost impossible
to eliminate once established in the rootstock and so
the tolerance threshold should be zero. Cleanliness of
new plants is paramount because downy mildew can kill
young plants quickly, or damage them such that they die
over-winter.
Downy mildew emerges each spring from systemically
infected shoots growing from the rootstock. These basal
or primary ‘spikes’ produce spores that infect other shoots
and leaves. In warm and humid weather conditions, the
disease can infect unprotected plant tissue very rapidly
indeed, especially during burr and cone development.
The disease is able to survive on nettles, using them as
a ‘green bridge’.
All varieties should be regarded as susceptible, with
some like Target, clearly very susceptible to the disease.
Control of downy mildew is best achieved with
prophylactic fungicide sprays. Growers are advised to
use those with systemic activity in the spring to reduce
primary spike, and then eradicant chemistry to eliminate
secondary infection in June to allow more successful crop
protection during burr and cone development. Adequate
protection of the developing burr and hop cones is crucial
and the best results are from the use of mixtures with
systemic chemicals during burr. Damage to crop yield
through subclinical levels of disease in the plant is not
documented. Hop plants with any significant level of
infection are a serious hazard to neighbouring crops and
should not be tolerated. Surprisingly few infected hop
cones in the ‘sample’ can render a crop unmarketable.
Hop powdery mildew (Podosphaera macularis,
previously Sphaerotheca humuli)
A disease that can spread in a wide range of conditions,
almost every day of the hop-growing season in the UK,
and again a disease with a tolerance threshold of zero.
Powdery mildew is now endemic in almost all hopgrowing regions in the world. Although it favours mild
and damp growing conditions, it can also reach epidemic
proportions in desert conditions! Its voracity depends
largely upon the susceptibility of the hop variety grown.
Summer (asexual) spores can over-winter between the
scales of buds, and these emerge to infect new tissue
each spring. The disease can also over-winter as
ascospores (held in chasmotheicia) that are released in
the spring to infect the new growth. Disease inoculation
can be significantly reduced by spring pruning, and is
discouraged by removal of unwanted basal growth (both
by hand at training time and by subsequent chemical
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
6
basal defoliation). The disease can spread very quickly
on young tissue and inadequate control often results in
a serious epidemic. The degree of infection need only
be small to render a crop unmarketable because the
alfotoxins released by the disease are toxic to the yeasts
in breweries.
The disease mutates readily, and only the new variety
Endeavour can in anyway said to be ‘immune’. It is
the degree of both risk and susceptibility that largely
determine the programme of control measures taken. It
is useful to note that once infection can be spotted with
the naked eye (as a small white fleck), it has already
been sporulating for a few days. The precursor symptom
to white flecks can be small yellowy oily patches, which
then develop white flecking on the underside of the
leaf first.
Control measures rely entirely upon chemical fungicides,
which are usually applied in a programme of regular
(typically fortnightly) sprays, from shoot emergence in
the spring until harvest. Breaks in the spray programme
usually lead result in increased infection. Growers should
aim to eliminate all traces of the disease before the
onset of burr, because after this time satisfactory control
is rarely achievable.
For further information on the nature of these or
other pests and diseases, refer to ‘hops’ by RA Neve
(published by Blackman), or seek advice from your hop
producer group, the National Hop Association or your
crops adviser.
Late Season Diseases (e.g. Alternaria alternata)
Infection is usually seen after injury to the delicate
developing hop cones (especially Goldings) in August,
often following a characteristic late summer storm.
Alternaria infection usually results from close proximity to
wheat and oil seed rape, causing a brown discolouration
to the surfaces of hop cones, and forces an early harvest.
The grey mould of Botrytis in the cones is rarely seen
in the UK, preferring the warmer more humid conditions
found in southern Europe in late August. But Fusarium
‘cone tip blight’, recently identified as a problem in
Oregon, is sometimes seen in the UK in varieties with
long pointy cones. Protection against all these diseases
is more difficult where there is powdery mildew infection.
Chemical protection using the product Bellis (boscalid
+ pyraclostrobin) is at present the only option for UK
growers threatened by Alternaria and Fusarium, although
late season applications of these persistent chemicals
can leave residues in the cones, hence the more visible
MRLs for these chemicals.
7
The disease Phoma exigua has been reported to cause
a leaf spot and cone necrosis in Slovenia. Disease
symptoms of Phoma wilt first appear as chlorotic spots
on bines but progress to oval shaped grey-white ringed
patches on leaves, and dark reddish brown lesions on hop
cones. Although similar symptoms have been observed
in the UK, this disease has yet to be characterised here.
Hop canker (Fusarium sambucinum)
The symptoms of Fusarium canker can be mistaken
for hop Wilt, but in Canker the leaves wilt and remain
firmly attached to the plant, whereas in Wilt the leaves
readily drop off (which is one way this disease spreads
so easily). Also, in Wilt the inside of the bine is stained
brown up to a metre high and does not pull away from
the base easily, but not so in Canker where in the base of
the bine is typically swollen and it pulls away easily from
the crown. Canker is commonly recognised by growers
but rarely found more than sporadically. It is usually
associated with newly planted hops that have not been
planted deep enough, or have been infected by downy
mildew. There is no permitted chemical treatment, but
the problem is usually rectified by a basal drench against
downy mildew and earthing up to ensure the crowns are
at least 2 inches below the soil surface.
Revised Long Term Arrangements for Extension of Use
CRD was unable to maintain the Long Term Arrangements
for Extension of Use (LTAEU) because they were
incompatible with the EC Pesticides Directive 91/414, so
a number of these products have been given Off Label
Extension of Use Approvals, and so are permitted to be
used on hops, but only to hop plants grown 12 months
before harvest (so not on a growing crop) and only to hop
plants grown under the following circumstances:
a. Mature stock or mother plants that are kept
specifically for the supply of propagation material.
b. Propagation of hop planting material - propagules
prior to final planting out.
c. “Nursery hops”: first year plants not taken to harvest
that year, grown in their final planting out position.
d. Commercial hops being ‘idled’, in other words grown
but not harvested.
The CRD website does not segregate these non-cropping
Off Labels from the Off Label Approvals permitted for use
on the harvested crop. The only way to be certain is to
check the Other Specific Restrictions listed at the end of
each individual approval notice. Most of the Off Labels
listed on the CRD website for use on outdoor hops
cannot be used within 12 months of harvest. If in any
doubt check with the BHA.
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
NUTRITION
HARVEST AND STORAGE
As hops are a long-term perennial crop, it is most
important to maintain the soil ‘in good heart’ by
preventing damage to the soil structure and preventing
soil nutrient deficiencies. Regular soil inspections and
periodic analyses are both necessary to pre-empt
potential problems. Although hops can tolerate acid soil
conditions, lime should be applied to maintain a pH of
6.0 to 6.5.
All hops should be cleanly picked and transported to
the farm so that they are not only free from pest and
disease, but also from all extraneous matter. To achieve
this the grower follows his or her own procedure for
picking, cleaning, drying, packing and storing the crop.
It is important that any of these operations do not hinder
the traceability of the crop. Each pocket or bale must be
correctly labelled or marked.
Hops respond well to regular applications of bulky
organic manures, which generally improve soil structure
and nutrient balance. Applications are best made
between May and August, when the soil is warm and
the crop growing vigorously. Manures can contribute
significant amounts of nutrients, and so should be
taken into account when calculating required rates of
mineral fertilisers.
It must be possible to trace the following for each
bale or pocket of hops:
Regular yet timely subsoiling is needed to maintain/
improve aeration on most soils. Effective subsoiling can
greatly improve soil aeration, drainage and nutrition, and
can reduce risk of Wilt infection.
n
Date
Over-application of nitrogenous fertilisers can promote
the soil borne disease Verticillium albo-atrum (Hop Wilt).
The most favourable soil conditions for Wilt infection are
poorly aerated, cold wet soils in March and April with a
supply of free nitrate. Although most hops cannot make
use of nitrogenous fertilisers until late May, applications
of nitrogen may be required in the early spring where
grass is growing between hop plants. To obtain a good
yield a hop plant needs to double its weight in the month
of August, and to support this soils need to be in good
heart, well manured and airated to depth.
Fertiliser recommendations for hops are based largely
upon the DEFRA booklet RB209 (see Appendix).
Applications of phosphate, potash and magnesium
should be guided, as opposed to dictated, by regular
soil analysis. A number of growers have found that hops
respond to applications of phosphate and potash higher
than those recommended in these tables despite the
soils showing high soil indices for P and K. This is not to
be totally unexpected considering the characteristics of
the red brick earth soils in which many hops are grown.
Recent research has also shown that hops can respond
to extra foliar feeds of P, K and Mg.
n
Variety
/ field name (permitting reference to the record
of pesticide applications)
n
harvest
n
kiln
date
or oast number (if appropriate)
& time of drying
n
weight of pocket or bale (and from which ones samples
were taken)
n
date
put into storage or dispatched.
The crop should conform to EC labelling and hop
certification rules and regulations, and these are
administered by each hop Producer Organisation.
This protocol is not intended to prescribe ‘best practice’ it merely lists a number of check points in the Appendix.
The list also includes standards and limits that are
required by the crop, and are normally included in each
grower’s ‘Common Rules of Production’ as part of their
agreement with the Producer Organisation.
The following measures should be implemented:
n
hop
picking and cleaning machines, and conveyors of
both green and dried hops, must be cleaned before
harvest each season and this is recorded.
n
field harvest gangs should be warned against disposing
of peel from any citrus fruits anywhere outside as
these might introduce Hop Stunt Viroid, which could
devastate British hop production.
n
kilnburners
must be checked annually and serviced
to prevent fuel aerosols from fouling the crop and the
service recorded.
n
smoking
must be prohibited inside the buildings where
hops are being dried, conditioned, pressed and stored.
n
control
measures must be taken to prevent crop
spoilage by vermin.
n
hop waste should be collected in a covered or enclosed
area to reduce the risk of spreading Verticillium Wilt.
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
8
RESIDUES AND CONTAMINANTS
Farm Assurance Fresh Produce is aware that a key area
in the production of fresh produce that requires continued
attention by growers and their advisers is that of keeping
pesticide residues to a minimum. This issue is not just
one of meeting the MRL trading standard but ensuring
that any individual or multi residues are kept as low as
possible below this level.
The key targets are:
n
Optimising late application of fungicides
insecticides to the edible part of the crop
HEALTH AND SAFETY AND
WORKER WELFARE
HSE directives on machinery safeguards and hearing
protection should be met.
and
n
Reducing
pests and diseases to a minimum before
flowering (burr)
n
Ensuring
minimum harvest intervals are followed
n
Ensuring
that application equipment is applying
products correctly
Currently there are no residue issues with this crop
but the awareness needs to be maintained for any
future issues.
As a precaution, growers should be aware that trace
residues of chemicals not permitted on hops are at risk
of contaminating the crop if a hop sprayer is used on
another crop. For instance, residues of captan lingering
in the spray tank, following application to top fruit, might
be detectable in hop samples even if the sprayer is
washed out before use on the hops.
9
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
APPENDIX 1: FERTILISER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOPS (kg/ha)
For established hops
Nutrient (kg/ha)
Soil Index P, K, Mg or SNS level
0
1
2
3
4
4+
Phosphate
250
200
150
100
50
0
Potash
425
350
275
200
100
0
Magnesium
165
85
50
0
0
0
Nitrogen
kg/ha
Deep silty soils
180
Clays
200
Other mineral soils
220
It is important to apply less nitrogen where Verticillium wilt is present but the rates should not normally be reduced
below 125kg/ha nitrogen.
For more detailed recommendations consult ‘Fertiliser Recommendations’ (RB209) available from HMSO and
published by DEFRA.
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
10
APPENDIX 2: VERTICILLIUM WILT OF HOPS
Source: DEFRA Horticulture Information Sheet (PB4274) What is it and why the concern?
Verticillium wilt is the most important disease of hops. For
many years it has been the subject of statutory control;
control measures have been modified in response to
the disease situation in the UK. Present in the SouthEast for many years, the disease then spread to the
West Midlands, and the previously wilt-tolerant variety
Wye Target has succumbed to a new strain of the
pathogen at some sites. The disease is now notifiable
only on premises registered for plant passporting of hop
propagation material. Commercial hop producers are
now responsible for their own preventative and control
measures for this disease. This appendix examines the
disease and suggests ways to prevent its introduction
and spread.
Where is Verticillium wilt disease of hops found?
Verticillium is a fungus that lives in the soil. There are a
number of species, two of which attack hops. V. dahliae
has a wide host range, but generally does not cause
serious problems in hops. However V. albo-atrum is the
cause of the most serious disease in the crop - Verticillium
wilt . There are different strains of V. albo-atrum, some
of which cause ‘Fluctuating Verticillium Wilt’ and others
which cause the lethal ‘Progressive Verticillium Wilt’
or PVW.
V. albo-atrum exists in the soil as thick-walled strands of
‘dark mycelium’. Infection occurs when hop roots make
contact with these structures. Within the plant the fungus
grows in the water-conducting xylem tissue, spreading into
the bine, and sometimes as far as the leaves. In infected
hop debris the fungus produces spores, called conidia,
which can be washed down into the soil. Here they can
infect other plants via the roots. However, infected debris
blown or otherwise moved around the farm is the key
method by which the disease spreads. Within the soil,
there is only limited movement of the fungus in water, but
movement by normal cultivation of soil is significant.
What are the symptoms?
Although typical symptoms of ‘progressive’ and
‘fluctuating’ wilt can still be seen, as described below, it
is now accepted that there is a continuous variation in
aggressiveness of wilt strains.
Progressive Verticillium wilt (PVW)
Bine symptoms can appear from May onwards, and in
two to three weeks all of the leaves of affected plants
will be withering. Plants that show symptoms early in
the season are usually dead before the end of it. Typical
symptoms of infection by Verticillium are:
11
a uniform coffee-coloured discoloration of the invaded
woody core of the bines, from the base upwards and
a characteristic ‘tiger-stripe’ wilting of the leaves, also
starting at the base. In contrast to Fusarium canker
(where a swelling usually occurs at the base of the bine),
affected bines do not ‘knuckle off’ at ground level, but if
pulled sharply will come away from well below ground
level, with a portion of the crown attached. Groups of
affected plants are often noticed in the yard or garden.
Fluctuating Verticillium wilt
If the hop is attacked by the less significant ‘fluctuating’
strains, the symptoms of wilting usually do not appear
until July, and the crown is not killed. Symptom intensity
varies in the infected plant from season to season, and
affected plants are often found at random around the
yard or garden.
Plants attacked by V. dahliae are rare and symptoms are
mild and fluctuating in character.
What action should be taken if wilt is suspected?
Growers should take action where symptoms are first
seen, by marking the hill with a conspicuous label and
blocking off the ends of affected rows to prevent entry by
vehicles or staff.
Mark a square around the suspect hill, taking in at least
5 hills in each of three rows (15 plants in total).
n
Take
a sample from the suspect hill, by cutting a 1-2m
(3-6 feet) length of bine from 0.5 metres (20 inches)
above the soil level. Place the sample carefully in a
plastic bag and seal the bag.
n
Cut down the other bines within the square and destroy
(usually by burning) in situ. Any attempt to transport
cut down material will undoubtedly spread the disease,
unless it is placed in sealed bags or containers which
are also destroyed.
n
Spread
straw over the cut down area as this will
assist in preventing soil movement out of the area
and facilitate burning of the infected trash on the soil
surface (e.g. dead bines and infected leaves).
n
Send
the sample to a laboratory to test for Verticillium
albo-atrum. If the result is negative, the hills can be
allowed to re-grow.
n
If
the test is positive, all access to the area under
suspicion must be restricted. Cutting down more bines
(e.g. 1+54, 5 rows by 11 hills) will give even greater
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
protection. This should be especially considered where
‘progressive’ wilt is suspected. It is essential with a first
outbreak, but it may be impracticable if there are many
sites of infection, where removal of a whole section or
complete garden/yard should be considered.
n
All
hop roots must be destroyed in situ. Each hill in
the immediate vicinity of the infected one (i.e. 1+54)
should be drenched with 275ml (½ pint) of paraffin.
With larger areas, a translocating herbicide, such
as glyphosate, should be applied with care when a
suitable amount of re-growth has occurred.
It is much better to prevent the disease spreading outside
the infected area, by establishing a grass sward using
dwarf grass species. It is essential that the grassed areas
are maintained completely free from any hop re-growth
and any broad-leaved weeds as these will provide an
alternative host for Verticillium.
Growers of hop propagating material must notify the
Ministry when symptoms or suspect symptoms are
seen. Plants with symptoms cannot be plant passported.
Notifications should be made to the local DEFRA
Plant Health & Seeds Inspector, or the PHSI HQ
(Tel: 01904 455174, fax: 01904 455197).
What precautions can be taken?
n
Always
purchase certified stocks from specialist
propagators based outside the hop growing areas.
n
Practice non-cultivation wherever possible. Sub-soiling,
which can be essential to maintain good soil structure,
should be done when good weather conditions allow.
n
Keep
all equipment scrupulously clean, removing both
soil and plant debris.
n
If
an outbreak is isolated, or is the first occurrence on
the farm, ensure that the garden/yard is the last to be
sprayed in the spray round, and clean the tractor and
sprayer when finished. This regime should also apply
to any other operations done across the hop farm.
n
Restrict
access (vehicular or by foot) where this is
possible, particularly for those who have access to
other hop farms. Labour at stringing, training and
harvesting periods is potentially a problem, especially
when the workforce travels from farm to farm.
n
Kill
all weeds 12 months of the year, as most can act
as hosts of wilt.
n
Take
care in the collection and disposal of hop waste,
as this is a major cause of disease spread. Blowing
hop waste into open heaps invites spread of wilt and
therefore the waste should be blown or heaped in a
covered area.
Nitrogen applications, particularly in the spring, when the
soil is wet and cold, must be kept to the bare minimum.
Where wilt is present, a total of 150kg/ha (120 units/ac) per
season should not be exceeded. If organic manures are
used, account of its nitrogen content (both immediately
available and residues from previous applications)
should be made when calculating applications of fertiliser
nitrogen. (Typical available and residual nitrogen values
of a range of organic manures can be found in DEFRA
Reference Book 209 - Fertiliser Recommendations for
Agricultural and Horticultural Crops).
There are growers who are successfully growing
susceptible varieties, by paying great attention to hygiene
measures in everything to do with their hops.
What about future options for wilt disease control?
Where the incidence of wilt infection is low, and where
farms are in reasonable isolation from other hop farms,
cultural practice, combined with the use of certified
planting material, will probably continue to provide
adequate control. These practices are based on prompt
removal of all infected material and restriction of access
into affected areas. Other husbandry techniques are
being developed in Poland and Belgium and may be
adopted in appropriate sites within the UK.
When wilt infection has progressed to a larger area,
control of the fungus in the soil, through removal of all hop
plants and grassing-down with a weed-free sward for a
minimum of 2-5 years, is essential if continued cultivation
of wilt-susceptible varieties is to be considered.
Planting of resistant varieties is the only option for control
when the fungus has become established at high levels
on a farm. However, it is still advantageous to allow a
season or two of fallow or grass before replanting with a
resistant variety. Over the past 30 years the wilt fungus
in the UK has developed increasingly virulent strains and
no variety is immune from infection when challenged
with high inoculum of such strains in the soil.
The recent development of low trellis and dwarf growing
systems also gives the grower the option of establishing
a hop area on fresh land which has not grown hops
previously. The fungus can, however, infect other crops,
notably potatoes and strawberries, and so the cropping
history of the field needs to be considered. Simple
wirework systems also have the potential to allow a
grower to manage soil-borne diseases through the
provision of grass strips and long-term rotation of crops
including hops.
Authors: Dr Tom Locke, Keith Worsley, ADAS
Rosemaund; Dr Peter Darby, Wye Hops. Note: This is
an extract from DEFRA Horticulture Information Sheet
(PB4274) and opinions expressed are not necessarily
those of the author.
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
12
APPENDIX 3: RECORD OF PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS
For growing season:
Grower Name:
To:
Grower EEC No:
Contract No:
Variety:
Pocket / Bale run:
Field Name:
Harvest Date:
Line
Date
Product
name
Active
ingredient
Reason
for use
Product dilution
rate per 1000
litres
Units
Foliar spray
volume in
l/ha
Product
rate per
hectare
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Comments
Authentication signature
Note: Electronic copies of this form are available from the NHA).
13
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
APPENDIX 4: HARVEST AND STORAGE CHECKLISTS
PRE-HARVEST MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING RECORDS
Hop Picking Shed
Signed
Dated
Comment
1. Bine track area swept clean
2. Picking machines maintenance completed:
– bine track
– pluckers
– ASP
– belts and rollers
– screeners
– waste collection
– after cleaner(s)
– conveyors
– leaf belt
– elevators
– other
3. Electricity supply, motors and switches:
– checked
– electrician
4. All tools and spare parts collected up
5. All conveyors cleaned
6. All floor areas swept clean
7. All safety guards replaced
8. Note of lubricants supplied/used on:
– bine track
– drive chains
– screener
– waste belt
– conveyors
– leafbelt
– other
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
14
Check lists for Hop Harvesting and Storage continued
PRE-HARVEST MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING RECORDS
Hop Drying Facilities and Storage
Signed
Dated
Comment
9. Safety notices and signs posted:
– Emergency stop buttons clearly
marked
– Health and Safety policy
– First Aid post
– No smoking signs
– No pets/children allowed
– Safety precaution signs
(e.g. ear muffs)
– Other warning signs
(e.g. for switch gear)
10. Burner maintenance (and guards fitted):
– No 1
– No 2
– No 3
– No 4
–
11. Bale press maintenance
12. Scales maintenance:
– checked
– certificate filed
13. Floor space swept clean before harvest:
– ground floor
– drying floor
– conditioning/cooling floor
– Press area
– Storage area
– Bale/Pocket Store
–
15
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
Check lists for Hop Harvesting and Storage continued
PRE-HARVEST MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING RECORDS
Hop Drying Facilities and Storage
Signed
Dated
Comment
14. Safety notices and signs posted:
– Emergency stop buttons clearly
marked
– Health and Safety policy
– First Aid post
– No smoking signs
– No pets/children allowed
– Safety precaution signs
(e.g. ear muffs)
– Other warning signs
15. Record of rodent baiting updated
16. Physical inspection of all areas to check that picked hops are protected from:
– rats, mice, birds or others
– oils, chemicals and baits
– material contaminants (e.g. glass,
straw, mud, dust)
– rain waters (e.g. roofs, gutters
and wind)
– flood waters (e.g. gulleys, drains)
– rising/penetrating damp
– unauthorised personnel
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
16
Harvest and post-Harvest Records
Log Keeping and Inspections
Signed
Dated
Comment
A log of harvesting machinery
maintenance is kept for events that
may pose any risk to crop purity
A log of hop drying machinery
maintenance is kept for events that
may pose any risk to crop purity
A log is kept of Press Weights with date
of drying for each bale/pocket
A log is kept of checks that scales
and recorded weights are correct
(e.g. in pocket book)
Confirm compliance to standards for
‘Prepared Hops’
n maximum moisture 12%
n maximum leaf and stem content 6%
n maximum waste content 3%
n maximum seed content for seedless hops 2%
n freedom from extraneous matter
The permitted dimensions and weights for bales are defined in each hop Group’s ‘Common Rules of Production’
Confirm that labelling of bales/pockets
is marked as follows:
n Variety Name (in full)
n Bale/Pocket Number
n
Prepared hops - seeded (or unseeded)
n
26 UK [year e.g. 2002] [grower’s EEC No.]
e.g. 26UK 2002 987
n Grower’s Name (optional)
n Parish name (optional)
n (County - optional)
n Tare Weight in kgs
A log is kept of physical inspections
of hop store to confirm that hops are
protected from:
n
rain from roof/gutter leaks or on the wind
n floods and blocked drains
n rising or penetrating damp
n
damp within the bales/pockets (max. moisture 12%)
n
oils, chemicals and unregistered baits
n
material contaminants (e.g. glass, straw, mud, dust)
n
animal activity (e.g. rodents, birds, dogs)
n unauthorised personnel
17
Red Tractor Assurance for Farms – Crop-specific Module: Hops
© Assured Food Standards 2015
Certification Bodies
Your routine point of contact with the Scheme is through your Certification Body.
Certification Bodies are licensed by Red Tractor to manage membership applications and to carry out assessment
and certification against the Standards. The table below shows which Certification Bodies apply to each enterprise.
Certification Body
NSF
Kiwa PAI
SAI Global
SFQC
Beef and
Lamb
Dairy
Combinable
Crops and
Sugar Beet
Fresh
Produce
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
NIFCC
(Northern Ireland)
4
QWFC (Wales)
4
Pigs
Poultry
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
NSF Certification
Kiwa PAI
Hanborough Business Park
Long Hanborough
Oxford OX29 8SJ
Tel: 01993 885739
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.nsf-foodeurope.com
The Inspire,
Hornbeam Square West, Harrogate,
North Yorkshire HG2 8PA
Tel: 01423 878878
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.kiwa.co.uk/pai
SAI Global Assurance
Services Ltd
PO Box 6236,
Milton Keynes MK1 9ES
Tel: 01908 249973
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.saiglobal.com/assurance
QWFC
SFQC Ltd
NIFCC [Northern Ireland]
QWFC [Wales]
Royal Highland Centre,
10th Avenue, Ingliston,
Edinburgh EH28 8NF
Tel: 0131 335 6605
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.sfqc.co.uk
Lissue House,
31 Ballinderry Rd, Lisburn,
Northern Ireland BT28 2SL
Tel: 028 9263 3017
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.nifcc.co.uk
PO Box 8, Gorseland,
North Road
Aberystwyth SY23 2WB
Tel: 01970 636688
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.wlbp.co.uk
T: 01932 589 800
E: [email protected]
www.redtractorassurance.org.uk
Fresh Produce
Standards
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