Now We Can Use Rain

By John Maier

Not long ago things were looking great the Rogue Barley Farm in Tygh Valley, Oregon. Ideal growing conditions over the winter for the Risk™ malting barley we planted in the fall. Perfect weather for seeding the Dare™ malting barley this spring.

And just like that, things changed.

Here’s what we know.

Barley Shoots 3 web

The 2013 Dare malting barley emerging.

The Dare™ malting barley is emerging on schedule. Shoots are 1-3 inches tall, depending on how soon the barley was planted this spring.

Some of it’s looking kind of dry. We haven’t had any rain in three months. Time to get serious about irrigating.

Water supply is not a problem. Plenty for the year. The problem is the time and energy it takes to move the equipment from field to field and make sure the barley and soil are moist.

We can work as hard as we can. But the rain provided by nature always does a better job.

05.2012 Risk Barley 2 webThe Risk™ malting barley is in better shape. The crop is all headed. Kernels are starting to grow. The Risk™ can better tolerate a dry spell because the roots are deep enough to still get moisture from the soil. But that will only take you so far.

Thankfully there’s no crisis. We could get by with irrigating all summer long and still have a good  harvest in the fall. The malting barley we grow, floor malt and micro malt in Tygh Valley will arrive here in Newport ready to be roasted, smoked, mashed, fermented and distilled. But rain would help us relax a bit.

The funny thing is that Minnesota and North Dakota are way behind on their barley plantings. They’ve got too much rain and snowmelt.

Send some our way boys!


Categories: Grow Your Own

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