High Quality Beverage Raw Materials for the Craft Brewing Industry

2014 Annual Report for LNC13-349

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2013: $196,953.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2017
Grant Recipient: University of Wisconsin
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Carl Duley

High Quality Beverage Raw Materials for the Craft Brewing Industry


Project had gone very well in 2014.  Our graduate student and hop farmer cooperators have been excellent.  We have excellent first year data on hop disease and a good solid IPM base for the remaining two years of the project.  Our malting barley research and education took a turn for the positive with a well-established industry leader in the malting business making a serious commitment to malting barley production in eastern MN and western WI.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Hire PhD student and identify farm cooperators to study hop production practices.  The main focus will be on disease management and developing best management practices to address hop disease management.

Many Hop farmers are new to agriculture or were more traditional farmers and not familiar with hand sprayer calibration, small ATV type sprayer calibration, or air blast sprayer calibration all use in hop yards.

Study malting barley with on-farm research trials.  Main focus will be on quality parameters of malting barley.


The 5th Annual Brewing Ingredient Conference was held in Wisconsin the first Saturday in March.  85+ participants came to the one day seminar.  Hop quality and hop oil production was the focus along with updates in hop disease management.  Dr. Thomas Shellhammer, Oregon State University was the key note speaker along with Dr. Amanda Gevens, UW-Extension.

PhD student Michelle Marks, has been hired for the life of the grant to study disease issues and develop IPM management principles for hop production in Wisconsin.  Three private hop growers are cooperating with Michelle in conducting research experiments on their hop farms. 

Presentation(s) were given by Michelle to agency personnel and to growers covering her first year research trials.  

Two Sprayer Calibration Clinics were offered on hop farms.  

Winter malting barley trial was planted in cooperation with a multi-state study led by Dr. Kevin Smith at the University of Minnesota.

Three malting barley variety plots were established and harvested in 2014 on three different environments and soil conditions.  Plots also included fertilizer application variables and demonstration on fungicide use.

Field days were held at the plots for farmers, agency, and industry.  Dr. Damon Smith, UW-Extension Plant Pathology participated in the field days.  Yield data, disease rating, quality data (by USDA Cereal Grains Lab), and DON levels were all taken.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Three Hop fact sheets have been developed:

  • Hop Downy Mildew factsheet  http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/wivegdis/pdf/2015/Hop%20DM%20A4053-01.pdf
  • Hop Powdery Mildew factsheet http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/wivegdis/pdf/2015/Hop%20PM%20A4053-02.pdf
  • Hop Virus factsheet  http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/wivegdis/pdf/2015/Hop%20Viruses%20A4053-03.pdf

In addition:
Hop Fungicide for Wisconsin publication  has been updated and available for viewing and downloading: http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/wivegdis/pdf/2015/Hops%20fungicides%20for%20WI%202015_Gevens.pdf

WI Clean Hop Program report 

Hop growers in the Wisconsin Hop Exchange Cooperative reported that members were upgrading sprayers for the 2015 growing season.  They also reported that members of the organization did not realize how severe disease pressure was in their hop yards and will incorporate management practices to address in 2015.  Practices will include cultural practices in spring and fungicide applications during the growing season.

Survival in the winter malting barley plot was zero in the 2013-2014 study in Buffalo County.

Six Buffalo County farmers have contacted with Rahr Malting in Shakopee, MN for a batch of Pinnacle malt.  This equals 110 acres of Pinnacle barley grown in the county.  Rahr Malting is very enthusiastic about having local barley grown in Minnesota and Wisconsin to reduce transportation cost and be more envrionmentlly responsible.


Jerry Clark

Crops and Soils Educator
711 North Bridge Street Room 13
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
Office Phone: 7157267955
Dr. Amanda Gevens

Professor, Plant Pathology
689 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Office Phone: 6088903072
Tim Rehbein

Ag Agent
Suite 392 318 Fairlane Drive
Viroqua, WI 54665
Office Phone: 6086375276