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What Is Red And Yellow And Has 91,283 Ears?

At 1:34 pm it was over. The combine made a final pass through our five-acre field of Wigrich Corn and the last ear of the last crop of the season was reaped, shucked and shelled.


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It’s moments like these that make us proud to be farmers. During the growing season we took on record heat, drought, pests and floods. Despite all those challenges, the ingredients we grow for Rogue Farms beers and spirits came through like champs with strong yields and high quality.

Which takes us to our final crop of the season, Wigrich Corn.

The first run of the combine through the field of Wigrich Corn.
The first run of the combine through the field of Wigrich Corn.

Last year’s harvest was tough. We hand picked and hand shelled the entire crop, much of which was too moist to properly malt.

This year’s harvest was not so tought. We found a professional to bring in the corn before we drilled a single seed into the soil. We planted earlier too, giving the corn more time to dry in the field.

The combine harvests fives rows of corn at a time. It took less than two hours to do all five acres.
The combine harvests fives rows of corn at a time. It took less than two hours to do all five acres.
The view from inside the cab. The header seen in the lower part of the photo, cuts the stalks about a foot off the ground, and pulls off the ears.
The view from inside the cab. The header seen in the lower part of the photo, cuts the stalks about a foot off the ground, and pulls off the ears.
Inside the machine, the ears are shucked and shelled. What comes out the other side is nothing but beautiful yellow kernels.
Inside the machine, the ears are shucked and shelled. What comes out the other side is nothing but beautiful yellow kernels.
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Yellow kernels, red cobs and 91,283 ears.

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The field stubble – the leftover cobs and stalks – we’ll plow back into the dirt to break down into humus. That improves the soil texture and nutrition for next year’s crop.

The kernels will be dried some more, then trucked to our Farmstead Malt House in Tygh Valley. Our maltsters are standing by, rakes in hand, to craft this crop into Rogue Farms Corn Floor Malt.

Then sometime in the winter or spring, Rogue Brewmaster John Maier will mash the corn we planted, cultivated, harvested and floor malted into Rogue Spirits Bourbon.

The journey from ground to glass is a long one. But rather than buy flaked corn somewhere else, we’re willing to take the long route. Because when we grow it yourself, malt it yourself, and mash it yourself, it makes a difference you can taste.

Join us at Rogue Farms for this lovely autumn season, and see the ground to glass journey for yourself.