The demand for Midwest grown hops and malting barley is booming!! According to data from the Brewer’s Association, on average 1.5 new craft breweries are opening each day representing a return to the localization of beer production. A majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a local brewery providing farms with a local market for their farm raised hops. With more than 3,200 craft breweries in operation around the country and 10,000’s of home brewers, these markets purchase millions of dollars of the flowers of the hop plant, called hop cones or “hops” from out of the area. Hops are a main ingredient in beer manufacturing, providing a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt sugars and a refreshing finish.
Ten years ago, you could count all of Ohio’s breweries on your fingers and toes, ears and nose. In 2015, more than 150 licensed breweries feed the demand for locally brewed craft beer. To meet this demand an estimated 6,000 acres of hops are required by Ohio craft brewers at current use rates. According to USA Hops Ohio had an estimated 200 acres of hops planted in 2015.
Until 2013, research based Ohio production guidelines for insect & disease management, irrigation and fertilization needed to grow hops was lacking. Thanks to a USDA/Ohio Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant, Ohio State University has developed a hops development program focused on profitable production and marketing. The research and extension education program is being led by OSU Investigators Brad Bergefurd, OSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Agriculture Educator and Mary Gardiner, OARDC Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology.
Are you interested in growing and marketing this highly sought after agricultural crop for the rapidly expanding craft brewing industry? Would you like an opportunity to meet and talk with some of Ohio’s best hop growers? Would you like to learn how you can take advantage of the hop mechanical harvesters, processing and pelletizing operations that have been formed and are available for use by Ohio hop growers? If so, you may want to consider participating in the third annual 2016 Ohio Hops and Malting Barley Conference & Trade Show that will be held in partnership with the Ohio Hop Growers Guild and the Ohio Malting Barley Industry, Feb. 24 and 25, 2016 in Wooster, Ohio. This conference will be of interest to beginning and advanced hop and malting barley growers or anyone interested in growing for these rapidly expanding industries. Of particular interest will be a two day trade show that will showcase the latest in hops and malting barley production and processing technologies by nationwide vendors. Last year’s conference had record breaking attendance, therefore we suggest that those interested in attending this year’s conference register online early.
The Conference will feature detailed information on the latest in hops and malting barley production including mechanical harvesting, processing, malting and pelletizing with numerous production and management sessions by experts from Cornell University, University of Vermont, University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, USA Hops, U. S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, Ohio State University Extension, OARDC, Ohio Hop Growers Guild, Ohio Department of Agriculture and many of Ohio’s finest hop farms.
Conference sessions will include:
* Planning to make your hop farm profitable.
* How Brewers Select their Hops.
* Managing Diseases in the Hops Yard.
* Collaborative Marketing-Ohio Hops Guild.
* Hops Fertility Management Using Petiole Analysis and Fertigation.
* Greenhouse to field, Giving Hops a Jumpstart.
* Enhancing Beneficial Insects in Your Hop Yard.
* Identifying and Managing Hops Pests.
* Using Cover Crops as an Integrated Pest Management Tool in Hops.
* Weed and Herbicide Management.
* Soil Selection, Preparation, and Fertility.
* Drying, Cleaning, and Packaging Barley for the Malting Market.
* Malting Barley Diseases and Management Strategies.
* Malting Facilities and Markets in Ohio.
The two-day program will be held in the Fisher Auditorium and Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, Ohio, on the OARDC campus. The event will also feature the Ohio Hops & Barley Social Banquet the evening of Feb. 24 at the Shisler Conference Center.
Registration for the conference as an attendee is $175.00 for two days, and $100.00 for one day. This cost includes lunch, full access to the trade show, a flash drive with the conference presentations, and a conference booklet with vendor, speaker and program information. The banquet is an additional cost of $50 per person. The deadline to register as an attendee for the conference is February 5, 2016. For full information on how to become a vendor, go to go.osu.edu/OhioHopsAndBarleyConference
For more information on registration contact Charissa Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132. For more information on growing hops or barley contact Brad Bergefurd, Bergefurd.firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register, view the agenda, and full details of the Conference and Trade Show, go to go.osu.edu/OhioHopsAndBarleyConference.