What is the Hop Research Council?

The Hop Research Council works for the hop industry in guaranteeing a strong market now and in the future.

The Hop Research Council (HRC) directs and funds hop research for the benefit of the U.S. hop industry. The overarching goal of the volunteer board is to “promote collaborations on advancing hop farming, processing, and brewing with hops to create delicious beer with less environmental impact and lower cost of production.” To achieve this goal, the HRC funds research that will improve agronomic traits of U.S grown hops to ensure a sustainable supply for U.S. brewers. As such, the HRC believes in the need for diverse varieties that hop producers can grow successfully in different locations with different pest and disease pressures. They also believe in increasing the efficiency of production to improve net profits allowing growers to reinvest in their operations. By funding research in: breeding and hop genetics, chemistry and brewing, pathology, entomology, and Integrated Pest Management and hop quality, the HRC is contributing to the success of the U.S. hop industry.

The HRC recently contracted Bryan and Judy Thoet of BJ Agricultural Consulting, as Technical Directors to coordinate and support the HRC research program. They are in the process of developing a Research Priorities Plan that connects research funding with documented industry needs. The HRC will meet at the 62nd Annual American Hop Convention in Palm Desert, California, and those funded with HRC dollars will present results of their research to hop convention attendees on January 24. If you are a hop producer with specific research needs, please contact a Michigan State University Extension hop educator so they can pass along the priorities to the HRC.

As a reminder, planning is underway for the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference, which will take place March 12-14, 2018 in Kalamazoo, MI. Keep an eye out for registration details. Please continue to visit Michigan State University Extension’s hop webpage or the MSU Hops News Facebook site for up to date information.  

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