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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


OSU South Centers to host annual Hops Field Night

By Bradford Sherman
Ohio State University South Centers

PIKETON — Whether you are a veteran hops grower, or have an interest in getting started, there will be valuable information, demonstrations, and more made available as part of the annual Hops Field Night hosted by The Ohio State University South Centers.

This educational opportunity, featuring Horticulture Specialist Brad Bergefurd, will take place Wednesday, August 8 beginning at 5:30 p.m. A dinner will be served prior to the start of the program, which will include a tour of the South Centers hops field. The event is scheduled to last until 9 p.m.

Informational items and demonstrations covered as part of the tour include: galvanized trellis systems, hop mechanical harvesting demonstration, drying demonstration, insects and disease, pest management, nutrient management/fertigation demonstration, and drip irrigation management.

HopsThe cost of the program is $15 per person, and you must preregister by August 6 in order to attend.

A main ingredient in beer manufacturing, hops provide a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt sugars and 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.

Charissa Gardner, Program Coordinator at South Centers, explained that because 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.

 “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.”

In fact, Piketon is just one of three locations across the Buckeye State that Bergefurd has targeted for hops field nights in 2018, the others being Bowling Green (August 15) and Wooster (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 Piketon event, or any of the other 2018 hops field nights, you can call Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, or email her at

OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road in Piketon. Attendees should enter the Research and Extension Building upon arrival.


 The mission of the center is to develop specialty crops including fruit and vegetable crops as alternative agricultural crops, that can be economically grown and marketed from southern Ohio and beyond to enhance the income of Ohio farms through applied research and education in production and marketing.

Since it opened in 1991, the South Centers has focused on new specialty crops, such as strawberries, pawpaw, blueberries, brambles, wine grapes, hops, malting barley, tomatoes, peppers, and pumpkins.

Our team of extension and research members bring over 50 years of combined specialty crop research and teaching to the South Centers. Dr. Gary Gao and Mr. Brad Bergefurd are the co-leaders of the Center for Specialty Crops. 


The Ohio State University South Centers enhance southern Ohio by assisting people with informed decision-making through responsive research, education, entrepreneurial application, and collaborative partnerships. We are a leading, respected contributor to the land grant mission of The Ohio State University.

Our research and extension programs are designed to promote, develop, and support innovative and profitable enterprises though integrating research and education. Agricultural Programs include: Aquaculture Research and Development; Commercial Horticultural and Specialty Crops; Soil, Water and Bioenergy Resources.

The Business Development Network offers innovative research, learning opportunities, technical assistance, and a network of resources for business owners and managers, entrepreneurs, youth, community leaders and educators, and elected officials. Business Programs include: Endeavor Center Business Incubator; Small Business Development Center; Manufacturing Extension Partnership; CFAES Center for Cooperatives; Direct Food and Agricultural Marketing.