COARC has a long tradition of research on mint. The major areas of focus has been on control of Verticillium Wilt, insect pests and weed control. Research has also been conducted on irrigation management and plant nutrition.
Oregon leads the United States in production of peppermint growing nearly 35% of the nation’s total. The total production of peppermint has remained stable over the past few decades but where it is grown has shifted from the Willamette Valley to locations in central and eastern Oregon. Peppermint is either planted in the late fall or in the spring, using specialty built mechanical planters and stolons (rootstock) produced by existing plants. Mint is harvested from late June to mid-August. Once the mint is ready to harvest, it is cut and windrowed. Once it is dried out, it is chopped and blown into a tub and taken to the distiller. At the distillery the oil is extracted from the leaves by steam distillation. Mint fields are generally left in for 3-5 years and replaced with another rotational crop. Over 1000 acres of peppermint were planted and harvested in Central Oregon during 2012, yielding 80 pounds an acre and grossing $1,849,200.
Weed Management in Mint, EM 8774 Request a free copy by contacting COARC