IDEAg Group, producers of Farmfest, will showcase a hops demonstration yard at the farm show in August.

A hopyard has been constructed, and hops have been planted and are now climbing support ropes. This is the first year that hops are growing on the Farmfest show grounds. The show kicks off Aug. 6 at the Gilfillan Estate in Morgan.

The yard features two hop varieties – Cascade and Centennial – and will showcase optimal growing practices according to the most recent research and studies.

“Farmfest is the perfect venue to demonstrate hops production in an underrepresented area of the state,” said John Hendel, director of event sales for IDEAg Group. “Visitors to Farmfest will be able to see what hop production looks like and learn about the crop from area experts.”

In addition to seeing the hopyard on the grounds of Farmfest, experienced hops growers and members of the Minnesota Hop Growers Association (MHGA) will attend to answer questions about the production of hops.

“Hops are a great way for farmers to work on diversifying their crop portfolio,” said Josh Havill, a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota and vice-president of MHGA. “Craft beer has had a renaissance, and brewers have a desire to keep their ingredient sources local. Local growing and farmer practices can influence the flavor and aromatics of the final product. Our research at the University of Minnesota has focused on developing new varieties and understanding the best methods for managing diseases in commercial hopyards.”

Farmfest takes place Aug. 6-8. Tickets are $8 online in advance and $10 at the gate.

Visit Farmfest.com for a full schedule of events.

- Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain