Initiating a Hop Breeding Program At the University of Minnesota

Monday, July 22, 2013: 5:00 PM
Desert Salon 4-6 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Charles L. Rohwer , Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN
John R. Thull , University of Minnesota, Chaska, MN
Vincent A. Fritz , University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN
Until recently, commercial production of hops (Humulus lupulus L.) in the United States has been exclusively centered in dry valleys in the Pacific Northwest. Hop breeding has historically been carried out in the major hop producing regions around the world, including in the Pacific Northwest, Germany, England, and New Zealand. Some relatively smaller growers have recently started producing hops in other regions of the United States, including states such as Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina. Hop cultivars selected by major breeding programs have understandably not considered climate, soil, photoperiod, or production practices in these new production regions in the United States, and many newer cultivars are patent-protected and unavailable to most small growers. To meet the demand from local craft breweries for novel cultivars available to local growers, and demand from growers for cultivars selected for production in the upper Midwestern United States, we began by developing a poster displaying known pedigrees of over 40 hop cultivars. Pedigree analysis is important for selecting appropriate parents in a small breeding program such as ours. Five crosses were made in 2012 using novel USDA germplasm (PI 617471), commercial cultivars (Spalter Select, Newport, Nugget, and Chinook), and a male collected at the University of Minnesota Horticulture Research Center in Chaska, MN. Seedlings from these crosses will form the basis for selecting one or more novel cultivars or parents adapted to Minnesota and surrounding states.
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