High Tunnel Educational Workshops Offered for New and Experienced Producers

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a series of meetings this fall for growers producing crops in high tunnels. Two meeting sites will offer the beginning “High Tunnel 101” workshop to current commercial fruit or vegetable growers and traditional farmers interested in diversifying their production. Topics to be covered at the workshop include site and high tunnel selection, construction, soil management, irrigation, pest management, bed design and cropping systems. A high tunnel manual also will be provided.

A second set of workshops, “Advance High Tunnel Tomato Production,” will be offered for growers already using a high tunnel structure in their production system, or advanced high tunnel training. Topics to be covered include environmental control, nutrient management, foliar sampling, hands-on grafting practice, production budgets, and succession plantings for maximum efficiency.

High tunnels are inexpensive, simple, passive-solar greenhouses in which crops are grown directly in the soil. They allow growers to extend the season and produce high yields of quality produce earlier than field-grown crops, thus commanding a higher price at market.

“Like all farmers, fruit and vegetable growers attempt to get the greatest yields of high quality crops from their land,” said Linda Naeve, program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach's Value Added Agriculture program. “This requires careful planning and using the right tools and strategies. Producing high value crops in high tunnels is one way growers can increase their production in a limited space.” However, high tunnel production requires additional skills and knowledge for greater production and profitability.

Pre-registration is required for all workshops by calling Joe Hannan at 515-993-4281 or emailing jmhannan@iastate.edu. Fees for each workshop are $55 per person or $90 per couple (or employees of the same farm), and includes a resource guide, lunch and refreshments.

High Tunnel 101
 

Adel Public Library, 303 South 10th St., Adel, Iowa
Oct. 29, 2013, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration deadline: Oct. 23

Scott County Extension Office875 Tanglefoot Lane, Bettendorf, Iowa
Nov. 5, 2013, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration deadline: Oct. 30

Advance High Tunnel Tomato Production
 

Scott County Extension Office875 Tanglefoot Lane, Bettendorf, Iowa
Nov. 4, 2013, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registration deadline: Oct. 30

Dallas Center Memorial Hall1502 Walnut St., Dallas Center, Iowa
Nov. 16, 2013, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registration deadline: Nov. 12

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