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University of Illinois Extension serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties

Stephenson County
Highland Community College, Bldg R
2998 W Pearl City Rd
Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-235-4125
FAX: 815-232-9006
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm

Jo Daviess County
204 Vine, PO Box 600
Elizabeth, IL 61028
Phone: 815-858-2273
FAX: 815-858-2274

SNAP Ed Office
650 North Main St
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 779-423-0982

Winnebago County
1040 North Second Street
Rockford, IL 61107
Phone: 815-986-4357
FAX: 815-986-4329

News Release

Introduction to Hops Production

University of Illinois Extension Local Foods and Small Farms Educator Grant McCarty will offer Introduction to Hops Production on Tuesday, February 27 from 5-7 p.m. at the Jo Daviess County Extension Office, 204 Vine St., Elizabeth, IL. There will be a $5 charge for this program. To register or for more information please visit us online at or call us at 815-858-2273.

This course will provide an overview on getting started in hops production, variety recommendations, setting up a hop yard, marketing opportunities, disease/insect issues, and general management of hops.

“Hops are a crop that I get a number of inquiries on and have worked with growers in the Rockford area as well as throughout the state on. For some growers, moving into growing hops may be a natural progression, especially for those growing grapes for wine production” states McCarty. This will serve as an introduction to getting started in hops production. If you are unfamiliar with hops, it is a perennial plant that sends up annual bines with cones on them. The cones, which look like green pine cones, are used in the beer brewing process. Growers in our area sell to microbreweries and home brewer groups.

Unlike growing mixed vegetables or fruit trees, a hop yard can be an investment.

A typical growing season begins in the spring once you have planted the hop plants. Once bines are produced in May, you want to pick the most vigorous ones to train on the trellis and remove the other bines not trained. The growing season ends around August when the cones are produced. Adequate yields occur around year 3 as the first 2 years are focused on growing the rhizome.

Source: Grant McCarty, Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms,

Local Contact: Alex Burbach, Program Coordinator - Jo Daviess County,