HomeAgricultureHop Shoots Farming in India – Factors, Benefits and Earnings

Hop Shoots Farming in India – Factors, Benefits and Earnings

Hop Shoots Farming in India - Factors, Benefits and Earnings

Have you heard about this costly hop shoots vegetable in the entire world? This hop shoots farming is undoubtedly the most costly crop in the world because of its ample therapeutic and medicinal properties. This mightly crop sells for almost Rs 85,000 in the international market.

This vegetable is proven even to fight cancer cells and can become a blessing for India’s stalling healthcare. India can experience great profit potential with Hop Shoots Cultivation in India. 

Let’s discuss what hop shoots are, hop shoots vegetable benefits, and steps on how hop shoots seeds for farming can be germinated into a high-yielding crop.

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What are Hop Shoots?

Hops shoots are cone-shaped, green-coloured flowers of female hop plants. Hops shoots’ fruit, stems and blossoms used to prepare beverages such as beer, antibiotics, and other medicines. The plant’s bloom, often called strobile or hop-cones, or strobile helps add sweetness to the beverages. 

The hop shoots vegetable can eaten when it’s young and green. Since they are bitter yet mild-sweet in taste, they can boiled and added to various recipes such as omelettes or a filler.

And before being discovered as vegetables, they were considered weeds. As their antibacterial and medicinal properties weren’t discovered. 

Popular Hop Shoots Cultivars in India

Generally, there are the following types of hop shoot cultivars in India as following:

  • Aroma Hops – These cultivars have less level of bittering acid. They provide an essential oil profile with great aroma and flavour in a beer.
  • Bittering Hops – These highly acidic cultivars add a bitter taste to the beer.

Common Hop Shoots Uses 

Hop shoots fruits, flowers, and stems are useful in making:

  • Beverages
  • Beer
  • Antibiotics 
  • Medicines
  • Aromatic products

Hop Shoots Benefits – Are they Worth Growing?

Hop Shoots Benefits - Are they Worth Growing

From a health perspective, hop shoots farming helps with:-

  • Increased soil fertility.
  • Improving biodiversity.
  • Checking carbon footprints left by organic and non-organic brewers.
  • Lowering the flow of hazardous chemicals in the environment.

Hop Shoots Health Benefits

Hop shoots are medicinal and have a proven record of treating insomnia, anxiety, and other sleep disorders. It has great results in treating symptoms of restlessness, stress, nervousness, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is also helpful in relieving indigestion, types of cancers, high cholesterol, and other medical illnesses. 

In the following, let’s identify the best methods on how to grow hop shoots vegetables in India.

Technical Factors To Sow, Grow & Harvest Hop Shoots 

Let’s review some technical factors required to sow, grow and harvest hop shoots of the highest quality in India. 

1. Climatic Conditions for Hops

Hop shoots are suitable to grow in a wide range of climatic conditions, given the moisture content should be high. 

Additionally, for hops cultivation in India, there should be:

  • Minimum of 120 days without frost.
  • Enough rainfall (which can be ensured by fixing watering or irrigation).
  • And proper warm and sunny days are important for the growth of hop shoots crops.

Hop plants germinate from the soil during the month of March. Hop cultivation takes place north of 35°N or south of 35°S latitude and shows a dormant phase of 5 to 6 weeks in near-freezing temperatures for steady growth. However, when covered in snow, hop crowns can manage temperatures as low as  -25°C.

Stay updated on weather news before you plan your next cultivation.

2. Soil Requirements for Hop Shoot Vegetables

Loamy, well-drained soil, is best for hops cultivation. Soil with a ph level between 6 to 7.0 is best suited for crop growth. 

Adding legume cover crops and compost can help provide the required nutrients to the crop. Hops require nitrogen up to 200 lbs (224kg/ha) in about a 6-week short window. 

3. Plantation in Hop shoots

Selecting an ideal site is important to grow quality hops. Hop plants require good 6-8 hours of sun exposure each day. And choosing east and west-facing sites can help produce quality yields. Adding shelterbelts is necessary to prevent the hops from the gush of strong winds.

  • Hop plants should be placed at least 10-20 feet of vertical climbing space. And must close to a vertical support structure like a fence, a building or a trellis. Hop plants can be heavy, so twine should be secured with some weight.
  • Rhizomes are prone to early spring frosts and must be planted as soon as the soil is ready for preparation. Hop hills should mulched enough to protect rhizomes from cold spring temperatures. It is found that rhizomes are susceptible to deep winter freezes.
  • Before planting, creating a 4-inch deep trench filled with bonemeal, rock phosphate, compost, and cottonseed meal are important. Further, the plant extracted rhizomes in the trench and covered them with 1-inch soil. Before planting, make sure to refrigerate the rhizomes for better results.
  • However, to avoid overcrowding, the same cultivars should be planted 3 feet apart from each other and different cultivars should be planted 5 feet apart from each other. Hop plants are prone to pests and molds, and, thus should be given due treatment. 

Remember overwatering is the root cause of failing root bines for first-year plants. So ensure you water in a way that doesn’t cause any flooding in the field.

4. Irrigation Requirement for Hops

Fertile, well-drained soil is highly feasible for hop crowns. Going forward, crowns may need frequent watering but not such that it causes excessive moisture and flooding in the field. Drip irrigation is the best way to water the field as it helps provide moderate water to the crops without flooding.

Read: Popular Types of Irrigation System

5. Propagation in Hop Shoots

For hop plant propagation, digging the crown in early spring is necessary. And further harvest the rhizomes from rootstalk. Once the crown is matured, it will send dozens of shoots (most with buds) beneath the ground. And these buds can help produce new bines (if replanted).

Pro tip – The rhizomes should be extracted from 3-year-old crowns that are fully matured and established.

Hop is propagated from the runners that graduates from crowns in the soil surface. Runners further cut shopped into 6-8 pieces, and each runner contains at least 2 sets of buds. Extracted cuttings must be planted into the soil immediately. And if not possible, then store them in cool, moist and well-ventilated places. However, cuttings that are diseased, damaged and underdeveloped shouldn’t be planted.

6. Fertiliser and Manure in Organic Hop Shoots Cultivation

Fertiliser and Manure in Organic Hop Shoots Cultivation

Hop shoot require proper nutrition and fertiliser to ensure quality yielding hops. And adding Nitrogen to the field helps grow green and leafy plants. Also, there should balanced use of phosphorus and potassium to produce high-quality hop shoots. 

The soil should have iron, boron, and manganese components to ensure quality yield. And farmers should fertilise the plant with phosphorus with double Nitrogen volume. However, nitrogen content should otherwise as this may support vine development but can cause low cone alpha, affecting brew.

Having the right combination of fertiliser is important to ensure the quality growth of hop plants. The following things should checked;

  • Soil profile/PH level
  • Hop varieties to beused
  • Nutrients interactions
  • Soil/foliar tests
  • Irrigation water quality

It found that adding combinations of organic, granular and drip-line soluble fertilisers adds great results during the growing season.

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7. Harvesting of Hop Shoots

Hops can be easily harvested by hand or using mechanical harvesters. The lupin gland will appear yellow and sticky when the cone broken when the hops are ready for harvesting. The best method to harvest hops is by starting off from the bine first and then gradually moving towards the rhizome part.

To dry the hops, one can use the oven at a lower setting, a food dehydrator or even put them in a brown paper bag and shake them outside the sun.

How Much is Hop Farming Yield?

The average yield from hops cultivation in India depends on the cultivar you are growing. And by following good cultivation practices, about 800-1500 pounds of hop shoot vegetables can be cultivated in India. 

Where to Sell Hop Shoots in India?

Indian markets are gradually realizing the potential of growing and harvesting high-yielding hop shoots. However, this medicinal plant has more export potential than commercial usage within the country. Hop shoots have huge demand and have huge cultivation in Europe, Germany, Britain and other countries.’

This famous crop known for its antibacterial and therapeutic properties and initially grown in Himachal Pradesh but failed due to a lack of marketing exposure.

Moreover, an Indian farmer Amresh Singh is 38 years old and hails from Bihar and is currently cultivating the world’s most expensive crop, ‘hop shoots’, in Aurangabad District.

He believes the crop can potentially increase farmers’ income by 10 times as it costs 1000 Euros in the international market, which is approx. Rs. 85000 in India.

Success Story of Bihar Farmer

Bottom Line on Hoot Shoots Farming

Now you know how to grow hop shoots in India and have enough exposure to what profitability in foreign markets they entail. India is yet to leverage the opportunity of growing this medicinal crop. 

India has great resources and the potential to the hub for this mega crop. If farmers identify this crop’s scope and arrange the best farming tractors, agricultural resources  & practices, they can definitely turn towards massive earning opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques. How much is the hop shoots price per kg?

Ans. This medicinal crop’s price can be Rs. 85,000 per kg.

Ques. Why is the price of hop shoots so expensive?

Ans. The price of hop shoots is expensive because growing and harvesting hop shoots plants requires high labour. 

Ques. What is ideal hop shoots farming weather?

Ans.  Hop cultivation can be performed in the areas of 35°N or south of 35°S latitude and has a dormant phase of 5 to 6 weeks of near-freezing temperatures for quality growth. Hop crowns, however, can handle temperatures as low as –25°C when covered in snow.

Ques. Is there any hop shoots market in India?

Ans. Hop shoots are gradually gaining popularity. But more than consumption, these medicinal crops will viable for export purposes.

Ques. What parts of the world are famous for hop shoots vegetables?

Ans. The cultivation of a crop mainly carried out in Europe, Germany, Britain and others countries.

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