Lavender Production in Huntington, Oregon (44.3542, -117.2488)

Asked November 28, 2018, 12:09 PM EST

The Barber Ranch in Huntington, Oregon is evaluating the feasibility of a 14-acre Lavender farming enterprise. Lavender responds favorably to drip irrigation. 1. Similar to your Drip Irrigation Guides for Onions and Potatoes (Pubs em8901 and em8912), I was interested in understanding how to configure a drip system specific to Lavender. 2. In addition to the drip system, I would need parameters for water delivery from the well. Particularly, issues regarding GPM, pressures, etc. 3. Finally, I need information on drilling the well on the ranch. (Commercial well drillers have offered significantly different solutions.) The area designated for the planting was once the Burnt River bed (it was re-routed by the railroad) and is ideal for Lavender production (sandy loam). The Water table is only 48" below the soil. Nonetheless, would it be prudent to drill to a much greater well depth? And, are there laws regarding minimum well depth? Thank You, Ernest Miller

Baker County Oregon irrigation and water management herbs lavender small farms

1 Response

Hello Ernest, Thanks for your drip irrigation question.
You are correct, drip irrigation is the best form of water delivery to support lavender. I would suggest using thick walled drip tape that is intended to be installed long term. You would not want to install a disposable thin walled tape, as it would require replacement every year. You will need to test your water quality so help determine the best type of filter to use. Likely a sand filter will be the best option.
The drip irrigation layout can be very flexible based off of the row spacing of your lavender. One drip line per lavender row will be sufficient. You may want to embed the drip line a few inches beneath the surface. These "lateral" lines can be fed by a 2 or 3 inch mainline that comes from the irrigation manifold.
Regarding GPM, those parameters will need to be calculated once you get the spacing requirements for you planting. Calculating the flow is relatively easy, and can be completed by multiplying the flow rate of your emitters (gal/100 feet/min) by the length of run. I would imagine with that large of an area that you will need to have a couple of different zones that operate independently of each other.
I am not able to answer the question regarding the specifications of the well system or the associated laws governing depth.
I hope this helps.

Thanks, Scott