Cultivation, Harvests, Kilning
The rows of hills are 7 ft apart with 1,000 hills to an acre. The overhead wire trellis is generally 14 to 16 ft above the ground with the wires directly over plant rows. Four bines from each hill are selected and trained up double strings from the hill to the wire. The two strings are about 5 ft apart at the wire. Harvesting is spread over four weeks in late February and early March. There are 15 picking machines in the district, but as these belong to the larger growers a fair amount of the total area is picked by machine. It appears that imported machines need improvements in order to pick clean without breaking the hops. Hops are dried in kilns on the farms. Kilns are up to 20 ft square and with a bed depth of up to 2 ft. From five to 10 hours drying is needed, depending on the rate of air flow through the hops. After the time on the cooling floor the dried hops are pressed into bales of about 300 lb. The hops are graded after they are delivered to the brokers' store.