Water is a valuable resource at Threemile Canyon Farms. Our 93,000-acre farm lies just south of the Columbia River and west of Boardman in the dry juniper-and-sage lands of Oregon's Columbia Basin. The sun shines 300 days a year and average annual rainfall is less than eight inches.
As one of the largest center-pivot irrigation farms in North America, we have brought 37,000 arid acres into cultivation while using water wisely. Our state-of-the-art irrigation system minimizes water lost to evaporation or over watering. We recycle all of the water on our farm that isn't used for drinking. And we use dairy compost on our fields to help the soil retain water.
Preserving water resources
We work hard to reduce the environmental impact of our farming activities on the Northwest's water resources. When our farm was first established, we voluntarily placed limits on our allowed acres of irrigated land as well as the amount of water that we use from the Columbia River. Threemile Canyon Farms also contributed $1.25 million to The Fresh Water Trust (formerly known as the Oregon Water Trust) to help restore habitat by enhancing stream flows into the Columbia River and its tributaries.
Every drop counts
Our state-of-the-art irrigation system and closed loop farming practices provide:
We settled a six-year dispute over drawing water from the Columbia River in 2000 by helping orchestrate an agreement with seven conservation groups. We voluntarily placed more than a fourth of our farm into a conservation area to preserve native habitat and gave back a portion of our water rights. We also brought formerly uncultivated land into agricultural production, providing valuable products and jobs while building one of the Northwest's leading sustainable farms.
Control central: Keeping tabs on water use
From our "control central," Threemile Canyon Farms' irrigation manager can keep second-by-second tabs on the operation of the farm's extensive irrigation system. Our 100 square-mile Wi-Fi network feeds information to the center so managers can carefully control water use around the farm.
Threemile Canyon Farms continues to look for new and innovative ways to be even more efficient with our water use as well as provide leadership in variable rate irrigation and green-water application.