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Rogue Farms Barley Harvest Begins

Eight months and nine days after seeding our 100 acres of Risk™ winter malting barley, the time has come.


This morning, our combines rolled into the fields at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon to bring in our first barley crop of the season.

All of the hard work we put into preparing the soil, planting the seed, watering and cultivating the crop is finally paying off!

Risk™ is a two row variety of barley we planted in the fall because it germinates during winter. By the time spring arrives, our Risk™ is well rooted and ready to leaf and tiller, giving us a several weeks head start on the growing season. That makes it the first crop of barley we harvest in summer. We’ll bring in 434,298 pounds of malting barley over the next several days.

Harvesting our barley. In the background is Tygh Ridge, a 2,710 high ridge that protects our farm from the fierce winter storms of the Columbia River Gorge.
Harvesting our barley. In the background is Tygh Ridge, a 2,710 high ridge that protects our farm from the fierce winter storms of the Columbia River Gorge.
A farmer’s eye view of the harvest from inside the cab.
A farmer’s eye view of the harvest from inside the cab.

The combine performs all three of the steps in harvesting grain. It reaps (cuts) the stalks, threshes (loosens) the kernels from the heads, and winnows (separates) the grain from the chaff.

After reaping, threshing and winnowing what comes out of the combine is mostly clean barley.
After reaping, threshing and winnowing what comes out of the combine is mostly clean barley.

We’ll bag a few small batches of the just harvested barley to screen it for size and broken or skinned kernels. Plump barley contains more starch, which need to malt into fermentable sugars at our Farmstead Malt House. Too many broken or skinned kernels interferes with micro malting and floor malting and makes our job a whole lot harder.

We run samples of the barley though a hand held screen to check for size, also known as plumpness.
We run samples of the barley though a hand held screen to check for size, also known as plumpness.

When this harvest is done, we’ll get a few days rest at most. Here in Tygh Valley the Dare™ malting barley we planted in spring has turned from green to brown and will be ready for harvest in about a week or so. At our farm in Independence, our seven varieties of hops are brimming with lupulin filled cones. They will be ready for picking by mid-August.

The four month harvest season is one of the most rewarding times of the year for us at Rogue Farms. From now through October, we’ll be reaping, threshing, winnowing, picking, micro-malting, floor malting, smoking and roasting the entire proprietary palate of flavors we grow to craft Rogue beers, spirits, sodas and ciders.

Please come visit us for the harvest season at Rogue Farms and see how we Grow Beers and Spirits!

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