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Old 06-05-2012, 06:30 PM   #11
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I'd do something like this:



The poles are 15 ft spaced and 30 ft high. I think I'd go 10 ft spacing though.

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Old 06-06-2012, 02:01 AM   #12
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Rudds... Check out the UVM Plant & Soils site. The past two years they have hosted a Hops Conference in early March. They started a hopyard and have had some very good speakers the last two years. I'm ramping up do do something similar for next spring (in negotiations with a landowner now) in Central Mass. Also, check out Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA. Gene has an established yard and is rumored to be expanding quite rapidly. Look forward to following you and maybe sharing some advice.

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:32 PM   #13
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All the info you provided is very helpful as we just started growing 150 hops. I know it's not a lot but we want to expand in the future and your info is great.

Also, even after you have the post up and the plants in you still run over stuff. I just ran into my end post last night while spraying. Good thing its an oak tree post that weighs about a ton.

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More advice...the first year, just hand pick. You won't have much more than 10% of your full scale harvest.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:48 PM   #14
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What size pots are they?

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As for types...I hav 650 sterling, 550 nugget, 300 cascade, 250 williaimette, 100 perle, 55 centenials and 100 columbus.... this year is just the trial year of the types of hops...then next year I get serous. .. most likely will be growing only the types of hops used for the craft brew markets... but I travel 3 months out of the year so now in my travels I will focus on collecting hop varieties from all over the world and create some sort of world hop yard...
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:41 AM   #15
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What size pots are they?
I am running 330 cheater pots.. there about .67 gallons... i get 270 ish pots per yard of my potting soil blend i came up with..



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Rudds... Check out the UVM Plant & Soils site. The past two years they have hosted a Hops Conference in early March. They started a hopyard and have had some very good speakers the last two years. I'm ramping up do do something similar for next spring (in negotiations with a landowner now) in Central Mass. Also, check out Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA. Gene has an established yard and is rumored to be expanding quite rapidly. Look forward to following you and maybe sharing some advice.

hey right on . bud... ill have to check that out.. yes i will be expanding very fast as well.. I have extensive training in propagation techniques ( plus i have been to horticulture college) and thru doing a few trials test first, i will be able to clone these plants in the 1000's.. i will be in the coming week setting up a 20 by 10 greenhouse for new propagation's...

Where i'm at..were in a Hops race...and i plan on being at the top of it... i want to be the largest farm in the state in 3 to 4 years time. I have the land (150 acres), resources ( multiple seed investors interested with a bussiness plan being drafted and Time ( moved back home from the city life and now living the real life
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I'd do something like this:



The poles are 15 ft spaced and 30 ft high. I think I'd go 10 ft spacing though.
30 feet dam thats high.. most i have herd were 20 feet high setups... that must be crzy to work on them.... Im shooting for 18 feet high from the ground.. but if the poles are a little shorter ill go for 16 feet ..Im cutting my own poles from my land. i have 45 acres in woods... ( thats for next week!)

I was out in Portland, Oregon in april for my first business trip at a pretty good side hop farm.. ( 250 acres) and they run 14 foot aisles from pole to pole on the newer style hop yards...and they even have some yards that are 7 by 7 grids..now those are tight! ill be shooting for the 12 foot range but may bump it back to 14.
As i will have a 4 to 5 foot rototilled/amended bed in the middle where the hops are going to grow.( going to take a back blade and mound up about a foot or soo on both sides of the bed to make a larger 2 to 3 foot wide long hill....so ill be going 2 to 2.5 on either side of the row. that eats up the 14 foot row spacing fast....
Plus in that picture theirs two ways to tie the vines up.. either strait up like a grape vine or tee pee as in the pic... the tee pee way is way cooler and you get ++ s for style points ..however its a pain in the ass to work under and it doesn't seem too efficient.

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Good luck with the yard. Just a few hints from someone who has been living the "dream" for several years now:

- Make sure you leave at least 6 feet between varieties. They will hit the top wire and travel. Once they get mixed together, you have no idea which variety is which. We have been sent samples to our lab to test that were clearly mixed up. Varieties that have an alpha range from 4 to 6 coming in at over 11%. No way.

- Get the earth amended and the trellis/irrigation in before you drop those plants in the ground. Otherwise I guarantee that no matter how careful you are, plants will get squished, dug up, and your map of where plants are will get messed up.

- Decide now how you are going to pick, dry, process, package and sell your product. You don't want to be in the situation of having spent all day picking and then trying to decide how to dry them.

- If you are bring in varieties from oversees, make sure you have all the USDA permits in place. They don't take kindly to illegal imports of plant material
hey dan, thanks for the heads up... 6 foot for sure in the spacing of the vines... and i will have the beds tilled and looking pretty before the plants are in the ground.....How do amend your fields? ( however the 5th generation hop farmer out west..said that there's a lot of people ( and him some times) that dont even put the trellis up the first year and just let the vines grow on the ground all over...some farmers put up a 4 foot stake in the ground to give somthing the plants can grow on some don't... ) ... then year 2 they will put the trellis up.. i may be trying this later on the year when i get my first batch of clones.. going to be using the 1 gallon pots again then when there larger ill be dropping them in the rows and not worrying about them till next year.


this first year wont be too much of a harvest so ill be hand picking or sending up some of the vines to the wolf harvester.... I have free access to large grain/ silage trucks from our neighbor across the street who He leases out 100 acres from us for his1400 head dairy farm. soo that will not be a problem moving bines..also we have a chevy 2 ton dually dump truck that we could us as well.

and as bringing hops from other countries.,didn't think of that... I think i may just try and play dumb the first few times... im sure i can sneak a bundle or 20 or more without getting couch..if i do.. o well..there not illegal so i don't have too much to worries about.. i would love to talk about your hopyards further.... can u PM me your email addy? thanks
steve
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #16
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We don't do the "v" trellis. Our studies have shown no appreciable increase in productivity for a trellis style that is a pain in the...to work with. Just a single top wire with a single strand of coir twine coming down to each rhizome.

We also do 12 to 14 foot spacings. Basically 2 feet on each side of the rhizome for mounded up soil and covercrop then 8 to 10 feet wide...12 to 14 feet. I could go on and on about providing adequate space for sun, wind, fog drainage...but the biggest benefit is keeping it wider than our pickups and tractor. Life is so much easier when you can just drive down the aisle.

PM on the way. We have a couple guys in NY that could talk to you as well.

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Old 06-07-2012, 04:53 PM   #17
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Just some more, we found 16 feet above the ground about right. almost 90% of your harvest is in the top 6 feet so if you are under that you risk reducing your harvest. On the other end, going above 16 feet becomes a much longer payback because of the extra costs to get up there.

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:05 PM   #18
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Very cool Rudds (and the rest who are producers of lupulin love). Just a thought on your hop production. How did you determine the quantities for each variety? Was it demand, availability, projected yield? The reason I ask is that Sterling and Centennial fetch some of the highest prices per oz. around here, but the other varieties go for much less. Willamette is actually dirt cheap. I see that you are starting with a large percentage of Sterling, which makes sense, but I'm curious on the lower amount of Centennial. I figured centennial would be one to grow a lot of, as it sells for more, is a popular hop, and can be used in bittering, flavor/aroma, and dry hopping (i.e. more applications = more consumption). I'm not informed on the hop availability, demand, and pricing on the east coast, though.

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:21 AM   #19
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I have extensive training in propagation techniques ( plus i have been to horticulture college) and thru doing a few trials test first, i will be able to clone these plants in the 1000's..

LMAO
So exactly how much weed did you grow in college?!?!

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:28 AM   #20
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Bierliebhaber:

I can tell you that one of the biggest deciding factors for us several years ago was just planting whatever we could get. There wasn't a lot of choice.

We asked the brewer's what they wanted, checked market prices, experimented to see what grew best...here's what we found:

- In the upper midwest, nearly all the "American" varieties grow well enough if treated properly.

- Enough brewers weren't buying just on price but like the idea of a stable price for a quality product...so we don't play the market. We set a price based on production cost, processing cost and leave it set. If market price goes up, the brewer's "win", if the market price drops, they still buy because we are providing a much higher quality product that their customers are asking them to use.

- One brewer told us, "Don't grow what I want. Grow what grows best for you and I'll design a beer around it."

The last was the best advice we received. We have revived a number of older varieties, reintroduced them to the brewers and they love them. So much that brewers are coming to us requesting that we revive some odd ball old variety or other. Its kind of fun.

With our fields and our growers, we do put in a little variety to stagger the harvest schedule, too. Different varieties mature at different rates. So a grower with 1 acre will put in 1/3 of an acre of three different varieties so, hopefully, they will be able to get them all harvested by hand the first few years.

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