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Craft Grown Hops From Central Oregon

CHF final web

Redmond Oregon, Est. 2015

16 January 2016

Delivering a quality fresh hop to market requires accurate care during the growing season.

Posted in Hops on the bine, Planning a Hop Yard

The secret to success rests in your ability to precisely meter, control and deliver nutrients and pest control solutions.

Airblast sprayer for hopsLast season we spent a great deal of time studying the impact that our fertigation plan had on our hops (based on soil analysis) a task made immeasurably easier thanks to our Dosatron and its ability to precisely control the delivery of nutrients direct to our root system. We also had the benefit of working with the folks at Worm Power who provided us with a quality organic 2-stage product designed to build a healthy root system capable of maximizing the uptake of nutrients from our soil.

What we lacked was a similarly robust and accurate method for applying foliar applications to the above ground bio-mass to treat such things as mildew, spider mites, aphid and a host of other issues. While mildew is of little concern to use due to a near constant dry and warm breeze that blows virtually all season. We are however susceptible to spider mites and aphid. Aphid can be treated and or controlled with a host of solution applied either as a foliar (above ground) or a systemic (by way of the roots) solution including some organic options. Spider mites on the other-hand proved to be more difficult and time consuming as most control solutions require contact with the mite to be effective VS close contact. The thing to note is that mites live primarily on the under belly of the leaf making them difficult to eradicate unless you have the ability to apply control solutions upward - difficult to do with hand held or wand based sprayers on even a couple plants let alone thousands.

While we managed to eliminate aphids from the Bachelor yard in 2015 we struggled to manage the mites as efficiently. The good news was that only a few small areas of the yard were impacted to a level that we felt the quality of the hops might be compromised (we cut these plants down early and removed them from the yard and treated the area around the plants to limit spread). The experience of having to destroy once beautiful plants that were loaded with hops was not an experience we were looking to relive again so we sought a solution. The solution as it turned out was a 110 gallon air-blast sprayer from PBM Supply & Mfg., Inc in Chico.

An air-blast sprayer (pictured) is a simple device that combines a powerful fan with a host of pressurized spray nozzles to create a super fine mist that can then be directed at the plants. The fan helps to atomize the spray further and then carries it do the plant under pressure, this pressure lifts the leaves of the plant allowing the solution to coat the newly exposed leaf surfaces. This makes it possible to reach insects or mildew in places that would otherwise be next to impossible. By accurately delivering your solution to the effected areas you are more likely to control the issue the first time and reduce the amount of chemical needed and number of applications required to correct the issue.

In the case of the PBM air-blast sprayer were able to treat an entire row (both sides) of hops in a single pass - covering from just above ground level to the upper reaches of our trellis. This not only improves the accuracy of our delivery but the efficiency as well making it possible for a single person to spray multiple acres in just a few hours.

Spider Mite Damage On Hop Leaves and Cones
spider mite infestaion on hop leaves and cones

Central Oregon Grown Hops Great Local Craft Beer
    • Locations

      Business Office:
      7648 NW Poplar Dr.
      Redmond, Or. 97756

      Mon – Fri: 9AM – 5PM
      Closed: Sat - Sun

      Hop Yards:
      Pinehurst Rd.
      Tumalo, Or. 97702

      By Appointment Only

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