NPR

Can Science Change The Mildewed Fortunes Of New York Heritage Hops?

Hops helped make vast fortunes for 19th century farmers and brewers in New York state before a mildew blight ushered in their demise. Now, undergrads hope to develop mildew-resistant heritage hops.
Hops internodes growing in a Petri dish in the SUNY Cobleskill biotech lab. Source: Lela Nargi

Some might consider the scraggly vines often spotted snaking up porch trellises in New York's Schoharie County a nuisance.

But there are some vine-like plants in this region that have a deep importance to the area — and signify promise for the future of local agriculture.

Hops helped make vast fortunes for farmers and brewers in New York state in the 19th century. Then, around 1910, a mildew blight ushered in their swift demise. There have been unsuccessful attempts to revive them ever since Prohibition ended in

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