Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Join Us for A Tour of the Hops Variety Trial in Western NC

Tour the NC State University Hops Variety Trial in western NC
Friday, July 12, 2013, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, Mills River, NC

In direct response to the expressed needs of hops growers in North Carolina, three years ago we established a hops variety trial at the research station in western North Carolina. Ten varieties were planted on a 20 foot trellis.  The first year (2011), we had one of the prettiest hop yards in the Southeast.  The second year (2012), Downy Mildew, spider mites, and Japanese beetles took a terrible toll on the plants and the differences between varieties really became apparent. We lost one variety completely; Newport.  Downy Mildew actually killed the crowns. This spring we took the opportunity to informally test a few new varieties by planting them where the Newport crowns had been planted.  This year we have taken a much more aggressive approach to controlling diseases and insects.  We have also done some cultural practices, such as spring pruning in an effort to increase lateral formation and yields.
So, come on out late Friday afternoon.  Take a look at these varieties and let's share our experiences growing hops in western NC. As many of our longer-term growers will attest, research such as the variety trial here is so important to the success of this industry.  It can help you, the grower, prevent some costly mistakes.  When a variety, spray material, or practice doesn't work in our yard, it is "lesson learned for all of us". When it doesn't work in your yard, it is time and money lost.
Note, the construction of the Sierra Nevada Brewery next to the research station has resulted in a temporary road closure.  If you come in via I-26 please follow these directions to get to our facility:
Revised temporary directions to the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station:  Construction of the Sierra Nevada Brewery near our facilities has resulted in a temporary road closure for road widening.  Old Fanning Bridge Road is closed on the Hwy NC-280 side; that is the direction most people come in on from I-26.  So, to get to our facilities from I-26, continue south on Hwy NC-280 for several miles.  Turn right on Hwy NC-191 (Old Haywood Road).  Go several miles and turn right on Old Fanning Bridge Road.
No registration is required. This is an outside event, so dress accordingly. Suggested donation of $5 per person.  If you have questions, please email or call Kelly Gaskill, Kelly_Gaskill@ncsu.edu or  828-684-3562.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Growing Hops in Western NC workshop


North Carolina State University presents

“Growing Hops in Western NC”

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center, 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759

8:30 am to 1:00 pm

Cost: $15 per person (cash or checks)

Can you make money growing hops for the all the breweries moving into the region? What does it cost to set up a hop yard? What varieties should you plant? Learn from researchers, extension personnel, experienced commercial hop growers (including John Wright and Rita Pelczar of Blue Ridge Hops), and brewers about the opportunities and challenges with hops production in the Southeast. Growers will share their experiences with growing and selling hops, a brewer will explain what breweries want, and NC State faculty will tell you what they’ve learned about varieties, diseases, insects, soil fertility, and the economics of production based on over six years of experience working with growers and three years of field research.  The workshop will finish up with a tour of the research hop yard. If you plan to attend or have questions, please help us get a head count by sending an email to Kelly_Gaskill@ncsu.edu or call her at 828-684-3562 ext. 250.  For information on our hops project visit http://nchops.soil.ncsu.edu/ . This workshop is being organized by Jeanine Davis and Kelly Gaskill.