As Winter Ends, Threemile Teams Prepare for Busy Planting Season

With the turning of the seasons comes the long-anticipated spring planting that is set to start the first few weeks of March. Over 50,000 acres and a variety of both organic and conventional crops will be planted between then and May, and the weeks leading up to the start of this year’s growing season are filled with activity to prepare for the busy months ahead.

Team members complete seasonal safety training to prepare for spring's planting activities.

A lot goes on behind the scenes before planting can even start. Team member safety and sustainable farming strategies are top priorities going into this upcoming growing season.

  • Each year after the growing season, our team of agronomists and directors get together and create a crop rotation schedule for the next growing season. Crops like alfalfa will stay in the ground for more than one year, while crops like potatoes will rotate each year. A strategic crop rotation schedule allows for crops to be harvested at different times, spread out across the farm. This can help the team better manage overall water usage.
  • Nutrients are applied to fields before crops are planted to help prepare the soil for the growing season. Nutrients and application rates are calculated by our Threemile agronomists, who utilize dry fertilizers along with effluent and compost from our dairy to prep our organic and conventional fields.
  • Team safety training is a regular event before we start planting in order to refresh the team on best practices to stay safe while working. Safety training courses are conducted throughout the year, too, with the topics covered being geared towards the time of year and associated tasks and activities.
The Threemile team, including agronomists Nick Benavides, Amellia Haguewood, and Maria Greenwalt, stays busy in the last months of winter to prepare for spring planting and another growing season to come.

Veteran Threemile agronomists Nick Benavides and Amellia Haguewood are looking forward to spring, as they’ve spent months looking at data and preparing for the 2022 growing season. When asked what they are hoping for in future months, weather and soil conditions were top of mind.  

“I hope for a cooler year to help limit the stress on the crops,” Benavides said. ”This should help the yields and quality in certain crops.”

Haguewood noted, “If I am going to manage a crop into the ground, the highest priority is nutrient management followed by the seed in the soil. Once you have that foundation of nutrition ready, now you want to have consistent emergence. To get consistent emergence, there is a list of items to be addressed, including proper watering, proper seed bed preparation, good seed-to-soil contact, correct planting population.”

Hats off to all the farmers and agronomists preparing for this year’s growing season – hoping for timely rains, rich soil and bountiful crops!