Hops Yards After Harvest

The hops growing season is consumed with tactical activities like bine training, scouting for pests, maintaining plant health, harvesting cones, and sales. However, managing your hop yard is far from complete once the last cones are separated from the bines. Strategic actions to take now address: after harvest sanitation, soil fertility, drip irrigation, taking a weed inventory, and getting a Pesticide Applicator License.

Sanitation to Reduce Future Pests and Diseases

Hops: Remove diseased leaves and debris at the end of the season.

Hops: Remove diseased leaves and debris at the end of the season.

Postharvest sanitation of the hop yard is your first line of defense against future disease and insect problems.

Leftover refuse from harvest and uncut bines should be removed after the first hard freeze as they harbor fungal spores or live insects. Waiting until after the first hard freeze reduces levels of pests on the debris and reduces spreading problems to unaffected areas.

Collected plant debris with pest infestations can be burned by obtaining an Open Burning Permit from the NJDEP Forest Fire Service. Permit fees are $10 for a 30-day period and need to be signed by your Agricultural Agent certifying the reason for burning is due to disease infection. Forms are available from your agricultural extension office. [Read more…]

Agritourism: On-Farm Breweries and Local Ingredients

Winter Malting Barley

Winter Malting Barley

Interested in learning about Rutgers Cooperative Extension malting grains research trials and hop variety evaluations?

Join us for a twilight meeting and field tour on June 22, 2016 at the Rutgers Snyder Research & Extension Farm in Pittstown, NJ.

Local crops as feedstocks for the craft brewery and distilleries movement is sweeping the US. It is a hot topic in the agriculture industry; new and existing growers are paying attention to potential opportunities for these products. Farm brewery and distillery operations are emerging NJ enterprises; farmers are investigating implementation. Rutgers Cooperative Extension members are assisting potential grower/suppliers with their new ventures via research and education.

What characteristics must products and your operation share to be successful? Those are the questions that need to be assessed through business planning, market research, crop production studies, and with the brewing/distilling process. The first Rutgers twilight meeting to be held in the field will be on June 22, 2016 at the Rutgers Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown. The evening will showcase malting grains research trials and a hop yard with variety evaluations. Look for details on this event soon. A day-long Farm Brewery and Distillery workshop is being prepared for the NJ Ag Convention in February 2017. Rutgers has a history of working with brewing and distilling crops as far back as the 1940’s. More up-to-date information to come from Rutgers NJAES.
[Read more…]