Burning Down The Barley
Your parents probably told you not to play with matches. So if you’re a bit jealous about what we did last week at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon – we understand.
What you’re seeing is the start of a field burn.
We just finished harvesting our 2014 crop of Risk™ malting barley at Rogue Farms, and burned the field to prepare it for the next planting season.
Field burning helps us by…
- Burning the field stubble into minerals we can plow back into the soil.
- Killing off weeds, weed seeds and diseases.
- Making it easier for us to plow, disc and harrow the field and seed the next crop.
Field burning is tightly regulated in Oregon. We need a special permit and we can only use it when the weather conditions are right.
The fire crew from Wasco County likes to come by to watch because observing a field burn, even a controlled one, teaches them about fire behavior.
When done right, field burning is good for the soil. That top layer of charred barley you see in the photo below is nothing but minerals. When we plow them back into the soil, they go to work immediately enriching the dirt and helping us grow better quality malting barley.
Growing our proprietary palate of flavors never stops. We’ll be harvesting our fields of Dare™ malting barley in the next couple of weeks. Over the Cascades at Rogue Farms in Independence, it’s almost time to harvest our McKercher wheat and our seven varieties of hops. Pumpkins and peppers will follow. And soon after that, it will be time to plant our 2015 crop of Risk™ malting barley.
As farmers we’re always looking ahead, not just to the next harvest, but to the next season and into the next year.
With the harvest season in full swing, please visit us at Rogue Farms and see how we grow beer, spirits, sodas and ciders!