Storm Watch

This is the time of year that we look to the skies with a little bit of apprehension.

We just tested a small sample of our Rogue Farms Dare™ malting barley and the results are good. Nice plump kernels that should be ready to harvest next week.

With just a few days left in the growing season, what could go wrong?

Storm clouds over our barley fields.
Storm clouds over our barley fields.

Our biggest danger this time of year in Tygh Valley are mid-summer storms. These are big ones, filled with thunder, lightning, wind and hail. There’s all sorts of ways they could damage or ruin our malting barley crop.

Lightning: Lightning can spark quick moving wildfires this time of year – even when it’s raining. If you’ve been watching the news lately you know that Oregon is having one of its busiest wildfire seasons ever.

Wind: Strong winds can flatten a field of malting barley making it difficult or impossible to harvest.

Hail: A heavy downpour of hail can strip the kernels off the stalks in just a matter of minutes.

Most of the time storms come and go without doing much damage. Maybe they’ll topple over a tree, snap off some branches, that’s about it. So while storm damage to our malting barley is rare, it’s still a possibility, and one of the risks we took on when we started the Rogue Farms Grow Your Own Revolution.

The forecast for Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley calls for thunderstorms until the sun returns this weekend. Hopefully the most exciting thing we’ll see is one of these.

A rainbow over our fields of Risk™ barley in July.
A rainbow over our fields of Risk™ barley in July.

In addition to our Dare™ malting barley here in Tygh Valley, we’ll soon be picking our hops, and reaping, threshing and winnowing our McKercher Wheat and Dream Rye at our farm in Independence.

The harvest season is the most exciting time to visit us at Rogue Farm. Come join us and see how we grow beers, spirits, ciders and sodas!