After setting up a ranch, plantings can be added by clicking on the “add new planting” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. An “add planting” form will display. Enter the planting name, and select a commodity and then an appropriate crop type. A crop type is a subcategory of the commodity, such as romaine or iceberg for lettuce, and may also be specified for a region, season, or production method (romaine lettuce, 2 rows on 40 inch wide beds).
Select a start date for the planting. Start date is sometimes referred to as a “wet date” for vegetables that are seeded or transplanted and established with irrigation. For trees, the start date is when the leaves emerge (“leaf out” date). For forage crops, such as alfalfa, the start date is when the crop begins seasonal growth.
For some annual commodities, the end date of the crop is automatically added after entering the start date. The end date can be adjusted based on experience. For commodities that are harvested once, such as many vegetables, the harvest date is the end date. For commodities harvested multiple times, such as strawberry and raspberry, the end date is the date when the growing season is finished, such as when irrigation and fertilization activities have ended, or in the case of peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli, the date of the last harvest. For trees and alfalfa, the end date is the end of the growing season, when the crop goes dormant.
After selecting the start and end dates of the crop, select the planting area. The soil type, acres, and coordinates are automatically imported from the planting area. These data may be modified for the planting if they differ significantly from the values in the planting area. This could be the case if the planting area is smaller than the planting area. For example, if only half the field is planted, the coordinates, acres, and soil type may need to be modified to reflect the area of the field where the crop will be grown. Selecting the correct coordinates will assure that satellite data accurately corresponds to the planting location. Irrigation and crop settings may also need to be adjusted for the planting.