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Old 10-11-2011, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default USDA Hops Results

I'm starting a new thread regarding the results of growers who have ordered germplasm/rhizomes from the USDA website:
http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs...s&si=0&start=0

Several have ordered and I would love to see pics and hear results from these government cuttings.

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Old 10-11-2011, 10:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Greatlakeshops View Post
Just a Note. It is in pretty poor form to "pose" as a researcher to obtain germplasm -"free"- especially when you have no idea how to even root them. How cheap and tacky-
This USDA germ plasm unit has limited resources and it a shame that REAL researchers and propagators can't obtain samples. Hopefully the USDA can weed out these posers. I apologize to those who placed legit orders.
Just a note. Those who "posed as researchers" had to identify a reason for requesting the hops. Legit or not, they have been made aware that their research findings are to be submitted to the USDA. So legit or not, they are going to have to do the legwork, and submit their data.

I for one, have no problem with doing this. I think a homebrewer who wants to grow hops and has the desire to start from cuttings, and is willing to document, take notes, and submit their research is just as valid as anyone else. Do you consider homebrewed beer not real beer just because it didn't come from a mass production brewery? Didn't think so. Why is hop research any different? We are users of hops, so why shouldn't we do research? IMHO, the more hands on you are with the elements that go into your beer, the more enjoyable the hobby is, as well as the more you learn.

So sorry for respectfully disagreeing with you.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:09 PM   #3
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I agree that it would be completely unscrupulous for someone to pose as a researcher, if the USDA had a limited resource of hops to give out. If some one is putting a PhD behind their name and forwarding the hops to their childrens college dorm, I wish a thousand aphids destroy their crops.

Fortunately this has NOT been the case on this message board. No one is "posing" and the USDA is not running out of hops. If it were the case they wouldn't ship them out.

You really should not feel threatened by a handful of individuals receiving cuttings for personal use.
Rest assured, your business will not suffer.

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Old 10-11-2011, 10:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by motleybrews View Post
I for one, have no problem with doing this. I think a homebrewer who wants to grow hops and has the desire to start from cuttings, and is willing to document, take notes, and submit their research is just as valid as anyone else. Do you consider homebrewed beer not real beer just because it didn't come from a mass production brewery? Didn't think so. Why is hop research any different? We are users of hops, so why shouldn't we do research? IMHO, the more hands on you are with the elements that go into your beer, the more enjoyable the hobby is, as well as the more you learn.

So sorry for respectfully disagreeing with you.
I agree wholeheartedly...contact your local USDA and you will find them very interested in the outcome of your "experiment". My local USDA embraces locals.

Now let's move on an hear the results.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:04 AM   #5
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This sounds really interesting. What sort of reports need to be filed to the USDA?

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Old 10-12-2011, 05:52 AM   #6
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I'm really surprised that the USDA would actually spend the time to send out plant material to individuals who may or may not be able to provide usable research data back to them without first obtaining some sort of background on those individuals.

I was an enthusiastic, hop growing 'freak' back in 1985 when I first obtained some cuttings from some 'wild' hops. Heck, one of the first contacts I tracked down was a Dr. V. Fric from the Hop Growing Institute in Czechoslovakia (that's right, before it was known as Czech Republic) on 23rd May, i991. I made a request for plant material and he sent it. I let him know, up front, that I was a 'home' hop grower and wondered if they would send some cuttings for me to grow. He must have thought that I was a researcher being that I was working (and living) at the O.A.R.D.C. Farm located in Mahoning County at the time. Prior to my employment at the farm, I received a degree in Agronomy from Ohio State and worked at the Turf Research Center there for a few Summers. What a pain in the ass that was. Some of the things we did to quantify our research data included checking the bulk density of the soil, at 1 (one) inch intervals - to a depth of three feet on one study. I collected grass clippings for a fertilizer study which evaluated 27 different products. Each product was replicated three time (random plots) and I had to make sure the mower clipped across the exact same area of each plot each week to ensure consistent results, making sure the wind speed was no greater than 5 mph to make sure that none of the collected clippings had a chance to be blown out of the basket before they were placed into the collection bags which were folded over and stapled with exactly 3 staples per each bag. I don't even want to get into the whole thing about tracing the outlines of new root growth down in the Rhizotron (Black lights only allows the 'new' roots to show up to be traced). I think that maybe some of you get my drift.

If any of you have a 'working' knowledge of agriculture, you can certainly see and understand that there is a big difference between legitimate research data and data from someone who's heart is in the right place but may not grasp the entire picture when it comes to what all is involved with these sorts of projects. And I don't even want to get into government employment but I will. It seems that the people who provide the most beneficial services to the community are the ones who get their budgets slashed the hardest. My only actual proof of this statement is what I've seen transpire at our local county extension office. Those folks are so overworked and underpaid/understaffed it's a sin. The knowledge they possess and the work they do is truly UNAPPRECIATED! Sorry, lets go have a BEER!

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Old 10-12-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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I can understand from a professional level, the concern the both of you have in maintaining the integrity of your fields of study as it relates to germplasm.
However, I believe the thought of these varieties of Hops as being some rare, unique, eccentric, type of genetically mutated strain that needs to be handled in a controlled lab setting is a bit absurd.

Sometimes I think we as scientist (which I am as well) can take things a bit far when it comes to our profession.
For crying out loud, you don't need a botonay/horticultural degree to grow from a cutting or seed, any more than you need a microbiology degree to propogate yeast.
It's academia that would have us believe you can't successfully grow hops in South FL too. Guess what you can!!!

Again...I merely wanted an open discussion of the results some have had with cuttings/rhizome. Not a thesis or research paper.

I'd actually embrace "lay" results...
"I've grown some nice plants with big, juicy flavorful, hops, that will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, and I only threw some dog $h!t on them."

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Old 10-12-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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From the ARS-GRIN website:

The National Plant Germplasm System provides germplasm to support research and education objectives.

Due to the intensive effort and resources required to ensure availability of germplasm for this purpose, we are unable to distribute it for home gardening or other purposes that can utilize readily available commercial cultivars.

I think this statement is pretty cut/dried...regardless if you are a scientist or not.

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Old 10-12-2011, 05:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Greatlakeshops View Post
I would post as an individual if I could; and you are right it won't hurt my business - I propagate for commercial growers primarily, and they have no interest in non commercial varieties.
As an individual and a degreed horticulturist who is involved in research though; it does upset me somewhat to see the intent of some of the posters. The fact that they don't even understand what germplasm is, its value, or how to properly care for it; is what blows my mind. I can't wait to see the research posted to this thread; and I don't mean results like "they all died except 1 or 2".
I am sorry if I offend anyone, but I firmly believe the USDA is primarily a professional resource with a limited budget that happens to have a bunch of very nice people working for it.
Man, I need a beer and its only 8:00 AM
I understand your concerns completely. And I apologize if my post above sounded abrasive. that wasn't my intent. The way your first post came off sounded as though you were against "growing your own" if it didn't help your bottom line.

That being said, whats done is done. The guys in this thread, and the other, have ordered, and many have recieved their cuttings. Because they were not rhizomes as many hoped, lots of them are having to do research on how to get them going, and I have a feeling that their research on getting them going will be posted in this thread. I had the benefit of getting into the thread late, and knowing i wasn't getting rhizomes, so before i placed an order, i did some research, and was confident that i could get them going. Sure, i'm not going to trace the root system, or provide data beyond my means, and quite frankly, the data i get might not be up to your standards, but thats fine. I'm not a commercial, or scientific grower, so my research will be based on a layman's experience.

I respect your work, as well as the other guy in this thread, and i don't want to take anything away from either of your expertise and knowledge on the subject. But, I also feel that you are being a little irrational. When we signed up for the germplasms, we had to put an organization, and an address, and a name, and a reason for the request. If the USDA was hurting, and was trying to weed out the people like us, a simple google search of: "my name" memphis, or my address, or my "organization" name, would come up with that I'm an actor, a homebrewer, and a jeep enthusiast. There isn't a research facility at my address, and there never has been. I used true and honest information. So if they don't want to send me cuttings because they are running low, and the ones they have need to go to a legitimate research facility, thats fine, and that information is very easily accessible. Do they have time to google search every request they get? probably not. do they have time to google search when they are running low? probably not, but it would probably be in their best interest if the 5 i requested were going to break the bank so to speak.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Hoppy View Post
I'm really surprised that the USDA would actually spend the time to send out plant material to individuals who may or may not be able to provide usable research data back to them without first obtaining some sort of background on those individuals.

I was an enthusiastic, hop growing 'freak' back in 1985 when I first obtained some cuttings from some 'wild' hops. Heck, one of the first contacts I tracked down was a Dr. V. Fric from the Hop Growing Institute in Czechoslovakia (that's right, before it was known as Czech Republic) on 23rd May, i991. I made a request for plant material and he sent it. I let him know, up front, that I was a 'home' hop grower and wondered if they would send some cuttings for me to grow. He must have thought that I was a researcher being that I was working (and living) at the O.A.R.D.C. Farm located in Mahoning County at the time. Prior to my employment at the farm, I received a degree in Agronomy from Ohio State and worked at the Turf Research Center there for a few Summers. What a pain in the ass that was. Some of the things we did to quantify our research data included checking the bulk density of the soil, at 1 (one) inch intervals - to a depth of three feet on one study. I collected grass clippings for a fertilizer study which evaluated 27 different products. Each product was replicated three time (random plots) and I had to make sure the mower clipped across the exact same area of each plot each week to ensure consistent results, making sure the wind speed was no greater than 5 mph to make sure that none of the collected clippings had a chance to be blown out of the basket before they were placed into the collection bags which were folded over and stapled with exactly 3 staples per each bag. I don't even want to get into the whole thing about tracing the outlines of new root growth down in the Rhizotron (Black lights only allows the 'new' roots to show up to be traced). I think that maybe some of you get my drift.

If any of you have a 'working' knowledge of agriculture, you can certainly see and understand that there is a big difference between legitimate research data and data from someone who's heart is in the right place but may not grasp the entire picture when it comes to what all is involved with these sorts of projects. And I don't even want to get into government employment but I will. It seems that the people who provide the most beneficial services to the community are the ones who get their budgets slashed the hardest. My only actual proof of this statement is what I've seen transpire at our local county extension office. Those folks are so overworked and underpaid/understaffed it's a sin. The knowledge they possess and the work they do is truly UNAPPRECIATED! Sorry, lets go have a BEER!
Because it's the United States Federal Government. Money was allocated to this program. They will spend every penny. They have no incentive not to. If someone see's they arent spending their entire allocation - jobs would be lost.
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