Our Goal for this Blog

Over the years we have received and continue to receive numerous phone calls and emails asking many different farm related questions. Our thought is that we would try out a blog to keep people up to date on what we are doing here on Puterbaugh Farms and at Hops Direct.

We will just jump right into where we are at in the growing season with a very brief look at what it took to get the hops to the stage they are in now. If interest is actually shown and people are looking for more information we will continue through the winter and pick up the beginning next spring, which will allow everyone to get a feel for what a full crop year looks like from a hop grower's perspective and all of the many challenges involved. We hope you enjoy.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Burn Back or Stripping Hops

Once the hops reach the top of the wire we either burn back or strip the bottom of the bines nearest the ground. What this entails is removing the leaf and lateral arm matter from the hill to about three to four feet off the ground. We do this for a variety of reasons. One of the major factors is that it helps to increase airflow through the hop yards thereby creating an environment that is less susceptible to mildew.

Burning back or stripping does not lower our yield per acre, due to the fact that a vast majority of the cones will form on the uppermost regions of the bines. In fact removing the growth toward the bottom of the hop allows them to focus more energy toward the top, instead of wasting it on leaves and laterals near the bottom which don’t produce a lot of hops.

Here are a few photos of a yard that has been stripped by hand, which is normally reserved for fields in which mildew is major issue:

High Alpha yard that has been stripped by hand, notice how you can see the twine with only two or three bines wrapped around it.

View across high alpha yard at ground level, notice how there is no foliage remaining near the top of the hills.


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