Summer Activities...

By late May or early June, as determined by weather conditions, irrigation of the hop fields begins. Drip irrigation is the predominant method used to provide water to hop plants, along with sprinkler and rill (furrow) methods.  During an average growing season, the hop field will require 50-75 cm. (20-30 in.) of water. Irrigation water comes from mountain reservoirs, filled by melting snowpack. 
 
Cultivation or mowing during the season keep weeds between the rows under control. Within the row, chemical herbicides are necessary for weed control. Weeds in hop yards can reduce yields, interfere with irrigation, serve as hosts for insects and plant pathogens, and impede harvest.
The season's first cultivation takes place in early April, after the soil has dried from winter precipitation. Final cultivation usually takes place in late June or early July, as the fibrous root system of the plant begins to grow. To protect the roots, no additional cultivation takes place until after harvest.
 
Regular professional scouting allows growers to continually monitor pest and disease progress, ensuring that control tactics are timed properly to limit pesticide usage, while producing a high quality crop.  Decisions to spray for pests and diseases are made according to scientifically determined pest thresholds, accounting for projected weather patterns and beneficial insect populations.