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.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Drip Irrigation Systems

As mentioned yesterday we also use drip irrigation systems (drip) on Puterbaugh Farms. Any new acreage that we plant has drip. There are numerous benefits to using drip in the baby hop yards. With the drip systems we only run our water sets between 2-4 hours once every other day when temperatures are cooler, sometimes we run them daily when the temperature pushes toward triple digits. All of our drip systems are equipped with timers so that the valves change automatically from one to the next. In theory, this would save time, but we still have to keep a watchful eye on our pumps to make sure there is still water flowing. A three hour set, on a timer, without water is useless. Currently we are running four separate pumps with timed systems.

The ability to put fertilizer directly into the water right after it exits the pump is priceless for raising the baby hops. We are able to calculate our fertilizer application with great precision and do not have to use a tractor to apply it. This is not an option in traditional ditches.

In a nutshell we cut the watering time from 36 hours in a traditional ditch system to 2-4 hours with drip and we no longer have to stand there with a shovel all the time. On top of this we can enter the hop yards at any time with a tractor instead of having to wait until the fields dry out enough to run tractors through them.
Drip line running down row of baby Centennials.
Mature hop yard with drip being watered, notice how dry the middle of the row is compared to fields having ditches.
Valve assembly with timer on top.
Close up of timer, this one runs a 3.5 hour set from 11:30 AM to 3:00PM.
Water box in foreground with a pair of pumps and sand filters the large round steel objects, fertilizer unit on the far right.

6 comments:

steve said...

Hi, You missed me in your "what brought you here" survey. I'm in my 1st year of a maximum of 2 acre hop farm (I have 3/4 acre growing). I'm planning on being a locally grown source for home brewers here in SE Michigan.
I hope to glean some needed knowledge from this site.
Thanks in advance,
SteveH

Brett Maxwell said...

i know you probably don't want to give away too much, but can you put up a post talking a little about what fertilizers you use? i'm a homebrewer and have a couple Centennials growing this year.

Hopsdirect said...

We have numerous agricultural chemical consulting professionals with whom we work, to help us keep the soil in balance. Many soil samples are taken and analyzed throughout the year in each hop yard to provide this balance. I may be able to post a little more on fertilizers in the future.

Tyler

irrigation systems said...

i looking for a system like this but for my home. i have no time to are my garden and it starts to wilt. an you recommend me something?

cgfluid said...

Drip irrigation is such a great efficient way to keep your plants hydrated. Everyone should have an efficient irrigation system installed. If you are thinking of installing one for yourself, check out Orbit Irrigation's website. They specialize in drip and all forms of irrigation systems: http://www.orbitonline.com

ralph lauren tee shirt said...

Many soil samples are taken and analyzed throughout the year in each hop yard to provide this balance. I may be able to post a little more on fertilizers in the future.