SDSU Extension hosts small scale hops production field day

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – SDSU Extension will host an informative field day for specialty crop producers on small scale hops production, June 1 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Anderson Hop Farm, 26677 486th Avenue, Valley Spring Township, S.D. 57068. Anyone interested in learning about growing hops in this region should attend this field day.

Hops are the female flower cones of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus). They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer. The hop plant is a vigorous climbing herbaceous perennial. Many different varieties of hops are grown by farmers all around the world, with different types being used for particular styles of beer. Hops are traditionally grown in the Pacific Northwest but there are opportunities for farmers in our region because of the growing craft brewing industry (microbreweries) and home brewers. The microbreweries and home brewers are interested in utilizing locally grown hops.

Lee Anderson and Janelle Johnson of Anderson Hop Farm have been growing hops on two acres in Valley Spring for the last two years and they are adding two more acres this spring. During the field day they will provide a tour of their hop yard and talk about their experience growing and marketing hops. They would like to see other growers get into hops production in order to someday be able to sustain the growing craft brewing industry and home breweries with locally grown hops.

The guest speaker will be Charlie Rohwer. Rohwer is a Research Scientist at the University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, Minnesota. He has been conducting research on small scale hops production in the Upper Midwest for the last three years. He will talk about his research on hops and provide tips on growing hops in the Upper Midwest.

There is no cost to attend this event. For more information and to register, please contact Geoffrey Njue, Specialty Crops Field Specialist at 605-782-3290 or To learn more visit,