How Dry We Are

By John Maier

The dry spell at the Rogue Barley Farm is into its fourth month. It’s not a drought. Officially we’re “abnormally dry.”

Whatever you call it, we’re  working harder than ever to grow the malting barley for Rogue Spirits.

Dare Barley Irrigated July 2012 crop web

Irrigating the Dare Malting Barley fields.

What malting barley needs more than anything this time of year is water. When nature doesn’t provide, we do. Farm crews are working almost round the clock moving the irrigation gear from one field to another. The Risk™ winter malting barley is in great shape. Long roots can reach moisture well below the surface. Dare™ spring malting barley has us a little concerned. Some of the later planted shoots are looking dry.

A look west up Badger Creek Valley.

A look west from the Rogue Barley Farm into Badger Creek Valley.

Our water comes from Badger Creek, one of the most pristine sources of water in Oregon. Badger Creek starts as small glacial lake on Mt. Hood. Fed by winter rain and snowmelt, it’s the heart of the Badger Creek Wilderness Area.


The Rogue Barley Farm is connected by a series of ponds and streams that support native fish, waterfowl, birds and animals such as Deer, Elk, Bear and Cougar.

It’s not just barley. Badger Creek feeds several streams and 23 ponds on the Rogue Barley Farm. Nice to think that Rogue Whiskey comes from such a beautiful spot.

We’re hoping for a big break this week. Lots of rain in the forecast. As good as Badger Creek water is, rain is better. The barley wants a good soaking and hopefully, this week, nature will provide.

Categories: Grow Your Own

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