Sam Kuschnick was born and raised a farmer. “I’ve been farming for a long time,” he says. “Grew up doing it with my family.” In addition to working on his family’s farm in Salem, Oregon, today Sam is the manager of Cascade Berries, a blueberry farm in Wilsonville. But even with so much experience under his belt, Sam has learned that agriculture is an ever-changing industry. “There’s always new technology coming out,” he explains. “Everybody is learning.”
Innovation is prevalent in the world of agriculture, and a farmer’s willingness to learn and adapt can mean the difference between a thriving or surviving crop. This is one of the many reasons why Sam prefers to grow his business with the help of Stettler Supply. “They’re not afraid to ask questions to the dealers or suppliers, and that’s what I feel helps my farm,” says Sam.
Stettler Supply is always looking for new opportunities to improve old systems. In fact, this approach led Sam and the Stettler Supply team to purchase the first bollfilter in the United States for Cascade Berries.
Introducing the Bollfilter
The Bollfilter at Cascade Berries, installed in 2022, is an automatic filtration system that sends anywhere from 250 to 800 gallons a minute through a fine mesh basket. The water comes directly from the Willamette River, traveling through 4,100 feet of underground mainline to reach Cascade Berries, which makes filtration an essential step in the irrigation system.
“Basically, that is the most important part of your farm,” says Sam. “If dirt or any particles get past our emitters, then the drip tube will start getting plugged, and plants will start dying.”
The Bollfilter at Cascade Berries is a new style of filter that not only captures fine dirt particles from silt and debris in the river, but also flushes them out automatically. The system is uniquely designed to auto-flush on an as-needed basis, which Sam says happens roughly every half hour.
This efficient design isn’t the only automatic feature of the bollfilter. In fact, Sam can control and monitor the system through an app on his mobile phone. “It’s got alarms and failsafes, so if something does go wrong, it’ll tell me,” says Sam.
The bollfilter product is new to the farming world, and Sam is excited to be at the leading edge of the agricultural industry. “It’s been great to get some new technology out on the farm.”
A Long-Term Partnership
Having grown up farming, Sam heard about Stettler Supply long before joining the Cascade Berries team in 2019. In fact, his own family farm has worked with Stettler Supply for nearly 20 years. Nevertheless, he continues working with the company for several reasons, including Stettler Supply’s parts availability and communication.
“They have inventory that nobody else has,” says Sam. Not only that, when Sam calls about an irrigation system part, a maintenance need, or even an emergency repair, Stettler Supply answers. “You can call anytime, all hours of the day. They’ll answer,” says Sam. “Their communication is great, and in farming, communication is everything.”
When Cascade Berries Farm began in 2013, Stettler Supply Company provided the irrigation supplies—including mainlines, sub-mains, valves, filtration, and more—and performed the install. Today, the company continues to serve Sam Kuschnick and Cascade Berries with emergency calls, repairs, farm planning, installation, and more. No matter the irrigation needs, the Stettler Supply team is ready.
“Stettler’s service is second to none,” Sam says. “They’re on top of their game. Their crew is great. I just haven’t had any complaints or any problems with getting things done.”