By Bradford Sherman
Ohio State University South Centers
Veteran hops growers and those looking to get started, alike, received valuable information, witnessed demonstrations, and more as part of a Hops Field Night held on August 8 and hosted by The Ohio State University South Centers.
Featuring Horticulture Specialist Brad Bergefurd, the educational opportunity included dinner and a tour of the South Centers hops field. Informational items and demonstrations covered as part of the tour included: galvanized trellis systems, hop mechanical harvesting demonstration, drying demonstration, insects and disease, pest management, nutrient management/fertigation demonstration, and drip irrigation management.
Approximately 30 participants took part in the field night activities; it was a significant number considering that the same program had been held twice around the state previously, and will be held in two other locations in the coming weeks. Many potential attendees chose to attend earlier or later sessions due to their closer location. It speaks volumes about the growing popularity of hops in the Buckeye State.
“The number of hops growers in Ohio has quadrupled within the last five years, and there is a major need for educational programs such as these,” explained Charissa Gardner, Program Coordinator for Bergefurd’s Horticulture program at OSU South Centers.
“Because it’s a relatively new industry for Ohio, there is not a whole lot of information about it readily available,” she said. “There is a thirst for information from the public; that is why these events are so popular, they fill a major need.”
A main ingredient in beer manufacturing, hops provide a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt sugars and provides a refreshing finish. Hops educational programs are some of the South Center’s most popular events and are designed to help growers and anyone interested in hops to learn more about Ohio hops and the Ohio craft brewing industry.
The same program will be held in Bowling Green on August 15 and in Wooster on August 23.
“We are holding them at various locations because: one, they are popular, and, two, there is a lot of interest all over Ohio,” Gardner added.
To preregister for the remainder of the 2018 hops field nights, you can call Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.