Crop Production

Main Farming Practices

01.

Perennial Crops

We mainly raise perennial crops. They can produce a seed crop for multiple years. Some benefits are that they don’t require annual tillage of the soil nor replanting every year. Also, perennial plants develop much greater root mass and protect the soil year-round. Our perennial crops include perennial ryegrass (2-4 year rotation) and tall and fine fescues (3-7 year rotation).
02.

Annual and Specialty Crops

We use annual and specialty crop rotations between perennial grass crops. These rotation crops include grains such as oats and wheat and specialized crops like Meadowfoam and Forage Brassicas. Oil is extracted from the Meadowfoam seed as an ingredient for the cosmetic industry. The Forage Brassica seed is utilized to plant pastures for grazing animals.
03.

Soil Health

Management is key in crop production. We use soil testing to determine economical quantities of Lime and nutrients to add to the soil to maintain fertility. We take care in preventing soil erosion by having the ground always covered with living roots and improving soil structure with no till practices. Rotational crops help to manage weed, insect, and disease pests, improve soil health, and reduce soil erosion by wind and water.
04.

No Till Planting

No-Till means the new crop is directly planted into remaining stubble from the prior year’s crop. Specialty No-Till drills are used which are able to cut through residue to place, and cover the seed at an accurate depth. We have found that no-till planting works very well for annual crops such as oats and meadowfoam. Perennial grasses are also no-tilled when field conditions are correct. Some of our ground has been in no-till rotations for over 30 years. This has provided significant buildup of organic matter which improves the stand quality and utilization of nutrients.
05.

Diversity

Because of our location in the foot hills of the Cascade mountain range we have many fields that are rocky and on very steep slopes unsuitable for production of grasses, grains, or specialty crops. We produce Timber and Christmas trees in these areas. We carefully manage our Timber lands and always replant after logging to create a sustainable forest environment. We have also been diversifying into permanent crops, such as hazelnuts to fill a growing demand.
06.

Conservation

As good stewards of the land, we consider it a top priority to implement methods which preserve the integrity of the area we serve. Some of our techniques that help to achieve this are; working in full straw loads in fields that will be tilled, utilizing cover crops on fields that would otherwise be bare over winter, and using erosion stabilization bags filled with straw to eliminate washing and ditches in freshly tilled soil. We have also installed drip irrigation in our hazelnut orchard to conserve water rather than using wheel lines which are less efficient due to wind and evaporation.

Crops

Ioka Farms has diverse production.

Through the 100+ years Ioka Farms has been tending to the land, great evolution has taken place concerning the crops. What once started as a small farm raising hogs, turkeys, and cattle has developed into a comprehensive grass and forage seed producing farm with room for growth and innovation. Currently our main crops are:

Straw

  • Baling

    We bale ryegrass, tall fescue, oats, hard fescue, and a small amount of chewings and creeping fescue straw. We also custom bale for other growers…

  • Sales

    Our straw mainly goes for export but we do some domestic sales. For Straw Sales inquiries for truckload quantities contact David Doerfler - David@IokaFarms.com  

  • Hay vs Straw

    Hay is grown specifically for animal feed, and is cut before the plant goes to seed.  The plant pumps nutrients into the seed or grain…

Good stewards

of the land

Being responsible for stable and sustainable returns for our landlords