State’s first hops workshop set for Jan. 11.



Linda Geist

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The 2018 Great Plains Growers Conference, Jan. 11-13 in St. Joseph, will offer the first hops workshop in Missouri and Kansas. Hops are a hot new Midwest specialty crop.

University of Missouri horticulture specialist James Quinn moderates the “Hops Potential” workshop Thursday, Jan. 11. Experienced growers and researchers from Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska will share their expertise on hops, the ingredient that gives a distinct smell and flavor to beer.

Attendees will learn if growing hops is for them. They will hear about the basics of setting up a hops yard, such as plant layout, trellises, nutrient management, how to choose cultivars, harvesting and marketing.

Stacy Adams of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln will share information about trellises and hops yard layout. Brad Bergefurd will talk about Ohio State University’s model for hops growing. Dan Wiesen of Michigan Local Hops will share his many years of experience as a hops grower. Diana Cochran of Iowa State University will take attendees through the process of harvesting and marketing.

A grower panel will discuss the challenges and rewards of growing hops. The workshop concludes with a beer-tasting event at the trade show.

A recent survey of specialty crop growers by MU Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program showed that Missouri gained 35 craft breweries between 2011 and 2016. Breweries Association for Small and Independent Craft Brewers reported that there were 78 craft breweries in Missouri in 2016. MU Extension horticulturists created a hops yard at Bradford Research Farm in 2017 as part of a specialty crop block grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Great Plains Growers Conference is an annual event with a trade show, poster sessions and hands-on training sessions. It is held at the Fulkerson Center on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. Discounted preregistration ends Dec. 31.

For more information, including a complete schedule, go to