Wyden, Merkley: More than $180,000 to Oregon State University for Pest Control Research in Hops Plants

Wyden, Merkley: More than $180,000 to Oregon State University for Pest Control Research in Hops Plants

98% of hops come from the Pacific Northwest; fungus fusarium canker threatens beer production

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon State University (OSU) will receive more than $180,000 in federal funds to research and develop management strategies for the fusarium canker fungus killing hops in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

“Since 98% of U.S. hops are grown right here in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon State University’s topnotch researchers are well-positioned to provide key insights into how to manage the growing threat this fungus poses,” Wyden said. “I am gratified to see these dollars go toward protecting hops production, as Oregon’s thriving hop production and brewing industries are key players in our state’s job creation, economic growth and tourism.”

“If you like beer, you should love this grant,” said Senator Merkley. “Oregon’s thriving hops industry supports brewers large and small here in Oregon and across the nation and is a strong driver of Oregon’s economy. I look forward to seeing how OSU uses this funding to study the fungus that is threatening hop crops to help protect this vital industry for our state and beyond.” 

A fungus called fusarium canker has been an increasingly greater threat to hop production in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, which produce 98% of U.S. hops. OSU will use the $182,633 in federal funds to study the fungus in order to manage its spread in commercial yards and propagative rootstock material. Researchers will work with hop producers to reduce the fusarium canker threat for U.S. hop production in the Pacific Northwest.

“A fungus that causes a disease called fusarium canker has been an increasingly greater threat to hop production in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, which produce 98% of U.S. hop cones that are used for brewing beer,” said Dr. Cynthia Ocamb, Extension Plant Pathologist in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at OSU. “There is very little known about the disease, so these funds will allow OSU to study the fungus alongside USDA scientists and hop growers in order to manage its spread in commercial hop yards and propagative rootstock material throughout the Pacific Northwest.”