Hops Production Workshop is Feb. 13
WOOSTER, Ohio – Growers looking to supply hops to Ohio’s
booming microbrewering industry need to first research which varieties of hops
craft brewers want to avoid the costly mistake of investing in the wrong types,
a horticulture expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental
Ohio beer manufacturers spend an
estimated $4 million annually on purchases of hop cones, or hops, to create
craft beers. This creates a huge opportunity for local growers to get into hops
production, said Brad
Bergefurd, a horticulturist with Ohio State
University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
Because the majority of
those hops are sourced in states west of Ohio, the opportunity to grow and
expand local hops production is significant, he said. Hops are a main ingredient in beer manufacturing. They provide
bitterness to balance the sweetness of malt sugars.
growing quickly in Ohio, with over 100 craft brewers licensed statewide over
the past two years,” Bergefurd said. “And
these breweries need locally grown ingredients like hops and malting barley,
the two main ingredients needed in many of the brews.
“But because different brewers use different hops
varieties for their craft beers, it’s important for growers to know the market
in terms of the varieties that brewers need before growers invest in their
first rhizomes (plant roots).”
To help growers interested in learning more about hops
production, including how to market the increasingly popular ingredient to
Ohio’s breweries, Bergefurd and other Ohio hops
researchers will host a workshop Feb.
13 featuring presentations from entomologists,
plant pathologists and horticulturists with OSU Extension and OARDC.
OSU Extension and OARDC
are CFAES’s outreach and research arms, respectively.
Participants can learn about new hops cultivars and
innovative hops production techniques. Participants can also sign up to tour a
local brewery after the program to learn more about what those in the industry
are looking for from hops growers, he said.
Investigators will also discuss findings from the Ohio hops
research program, which is evaluating new cultivars, innovative production
techniques, insect and disease control methods, and harvesting, processing and
marketing techniques that can be adopted by Ohio farmers.
The two-year project is funded by a U.S. Department of
Agriculture Specialty Crop Block grant to grow the Ohio hops market, which will
allow Ohio’s beer manufacturers to spend their
money in Ohio by purchasing Ohio-grown hops and ultimately help create Ohio
jobs, he said.
Ohio State researchers estimate
that within the first year growers can expect dry hops yields of 200 to 1,800
pounds per acre, depending on the cultivar, with an estimated value of $2,000
to $25,200. In the second and subsequent production years, yields should
increase to 500 to 2,200 dry pounds per acre valued at $7,000 to $30,800.
Other topics to be discussed include:
- Trellis design and construction.
- Field and plant maintenance.
- Pests and diseases.
- Processing and food safety regulations.
- Distribution and marketing.
- USDA and Farm Service Agency
programs for hops growers.
The program is from 8 a.m. to 4
p.m. in Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, Ohio, on the
Registration for the workshop
is $25 and includes the program, handouts, refreshments and lunch. Contact Charissa
McGlothin at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, for more
information or to register. The deadline to register is Jan. 31. The brewery tour
is outside of the program schedule and costs an additional $5.
740-289-2071, ext. 136