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Ag Weather Impacts-Growing Mint
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: August 03, 2018

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Today we’re talking about mint which is an ag product that you likely use every day. Yesterday, I caught up with Lukas Carter, whose family has been growing mint on about 60 acres for the past dozen years in the Royal City area of Grant County. I asked Lukas how the weather has been for growing mint this year.

Lukas:

Our first cutting did pretty well. We have two cuttings, so our second cutting will start the end of August and it looks pretty good so far. The heat has kind of stunted it a little bit, so it’s not as tall.

And so what are the optimum growing conditions?

Lukas:

It needs to be warm. They started a lot of it in Yakima. And it’s done really well, because I’m in Royal City and it’s a little bit warmer here in Royal. So it’s like a lot of crops if it stays in about the 80s, it does pretty well.

Lukas says mint is a rather shallow rooted crop and needs to be watered regularly. The harvest process is a little different from other crops.

Lukas:

We swath it and then we chop it into the wagon. The wagons are pressurized with steam and that’s what they use to pull the oil out of the leaves.

There is a soil borne disease that scotch and peppermint growers need to manage.

Lukas:

The biggest disease is Verticillium Wilt. I think that’s why there’s not as much peppermint around. Native is the only variety that is wilt resistant.

Now what is it about mint that you’ll likely use it every day? Well the next time you brush your teeth, be thinking about Carter family and thanking them and all the mint growers and processors that made it a refreshing experience.

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