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Points to consider before starting a hops operation

Hop farming requires a substantial investment in capital, time and management. A business and marketing plan is essential to developing a successful hops operation. A new factsheet has been released by OSU Extension to outline the pre-planning points that should be addressed to create a financially successful hops operation.

Economic considerations and site preparation are two important points for a successful hops operation and integral to a business and marketing plan. Planning in these two areas is essential, and the business and marketing plan should be developed at least one year prior to planting the first hop plants.

New hop growers are also encouraged to consider the details in this fact sheet before making an investment. Production budgets indicate at least $25,000 per acre may be needed to establish a high trellis hop planting and at least a $100,000 investment for a small-scale hop processing, drying, pelletizing, cooling, packaging and freezing facility built to federal and state food safety regulatory standards. This fact sheet looks at:

  • Market establishment
  • Labor needs and availability
  • Facilities for processing and storage
  • Insurance considerations
  • Financial and planning resources
Site preparation considerations including:
  • Site selection
  • Field preparation
  • Plant selection
  • Plant nutrition and fertilization
  • Pest management

The complete fact sheet can be accessed at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-58 or can be obtained by calling your County Extension office.

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One comment

  1. Hops go in to beer and alcoholic beverage where there is no history of food safety issues, why the ridiculous facility standards? Hops even have antimicrobial activity as well as being put in very hot or boiling wort, then fermented in to beer with alcohol. This is a 3 step process of killing off any pathogens. Getting ridiculous with the food codes. The FSMA needs to be rescinded as well as any state regulations for food processing regulation of alcoholic beverages. Why are we regulating for a non existent problem??? They have nearly destroyed my business as a traditional style winery. The food codes violate my principles and methods of winemaking, I cannot comply with them as they are needless and ridiculous. For more information search for FreeTheWineries .

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