- Agronomic: barley, hops
- Education and Training: extension, networking, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
- Pest Management: chemical control, cultural control, economic threshold, integrated pest management, physical control, weather monitoring
- Production Systems: general crop production
High Quality Beverage Raw Materials for the Craft Brewing Industry is a project that has been driven by demand from Wisconsin craft brewers, small hop farmers, commercial malting companies, and dairy farmers seeking to diversify. The "just local" food movement has developed a demand for all Wisconsin beer products. Both hops and malting barley were major industries in the late 1800's and early 1900's, but both were plagued by disease problems and the industries moved West and North. Little, to no Wisconsin research is available to farmers entering the beverage raw material production industry. Outcomes of the hop segment of the project are focused on an integrated pest, fertility, and cultural management programs for enhanced productivity and quality of Wisconsin hops. The malting barley focus will be on selecting varieties that are most suited to Wisconsin climate conditions for optimum yield, disease management, and malting quality. All aspects of our project have grower collaboration and demonstration; therefore we anticipate rapid adoption of enhanced practices for increased hop yield and quality. The approaches for both the hop and malting barley pieces are similar. Applied production research in hop bine health, and pest, pathogen, and weed occurrence, timing, and management will be conducted to develop best management strategies through collaborative efforts between commercial and hobby hop growers, research and extension faculty, and industry. The malting barley segment is focused on commercial farms and only on varietal differences and disease management. Outcomes of the project will help farmers optimize yields and quality through production practices that incorporate Integrated Pest Management Practices researched on Wisconsin farms. A long term outcome will be a trust relationship between Wisconsin hop and malting barley producers and craft brewers. This relationship will only be built by providing brewers with high quality raw beverage materials and maintaining sustainable (both economic and environmental) production through premium quality production practices
Project objectives from proposal:
Short term outcomes address the knowledge gains needed by Wisconsin hop and malting barley producers. The audience will also include other Midwest states.
•Hop Producers will learn to identify hop diseases in their hop yards.
•Hop Producers will learn to identify beneficial and destructive insects and their impacts in their hop yards.
•Hop producers will learn the importance of soil testing and nutrient levels that are needed for hop production in Wisconsin.
•Hop producers will improve their hop yard management skills including bine training date.
Malting barley outcomes will be a continuation of a SARE Farmer Grant that was awarded in 2013 to Buffalo County producers. The Farmer grant provides funding for two years of malting barley plots. This grant would be for an additional year of data collection to give greater validity to the results.
•Malting Barley Producers will gain knowledge in quality factors required by maltsters and brewers. •Malting Barley Producers will learn which production factors affect malting and brewing quality. •Malting Barley Producers will identify varieties with the best quality and production potential.
•Malting barley producers will learn to identify diseases in barley and the causes for the disease organisms. Intermediate outcomes include behavioral changes that hop and malting barley producers make as a result of the research and outreach defined in this grant proposal.
•Hop Producers will adopt recommended best management practices in their hop yards based on the research and outreach provided in this grant project to optimize yield potential including:
Proper bine training date based on growing degree days and varietal differences.
Disease and insect prevention and control through an enhanced understanding of appropriate timing and selection of pesticides and other cultural management practices.
•Malting Barley producers will adopt recommended best management practices including:
Variety selection of both winter and spring malting barley based on yield and malting quality.
Disease prevention and control through an enhanced understanding of appropriate timing and selection of pesticides and other cultural management practices.
Long-term outcomes of this project go beyond the producers into their relationship with the craft brewing industry. •Hop and Malting Barley Producers will establish a positive image with local craft brewing companies through high quality raw material production.
•Hop and Malting Barley Producers will maintain sustainable (both economic and environmental) production through premium quality production practices.