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…]

Farm Calls:
Troubleshooting Stunting in a Strawberry Field

This week a grower called to report an area of stunted strawberry plants, first noticed after removal of the row covers in April. There may have been overwatering on occasion.

If you read the 2016 Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations, you’ve seen the page, Diagnosing Vegetable Crop Problems (A27). Stepping through the diagnostic process with a grower is mutually satisfying – there’s nothing better than getting to the root of a problem so it can be minimized or avoided altogether in the future. The process involves tracing the history of the field and the development of the problem, then closely examining the soil and plants.

Field and Crop History

Our grower said that the field previously had summer cover crop, which was tilled under while green. A couple of weeks later, raised beds were made with plastic mulch applied. The strawberry plugs were set into the beds in late summer. The growth differences that caused him to call weren’t noticed until after the row covers were removed in April.

Plant growth differences in a strawberry field.

Our grower’s strawberry field.

[Read more…]