AMES, Iowa ― Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a short course on using high tunnels in Iowa. The course will be held on Nov. 5 at the Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S. University Blvd., Ames.
The course is designed to highlight the importance of crop, environment and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels. It will also provide a platform to share resources, knowledge and expertise in high tunnel vegetable production while helping connect growers to agricultural educators, extension staff and industry professionals.
The course is free, however online preregistration is required. The registration deadline is Nov. 2.
The keynote speaker is Lewis Jett, an associate professor and commercial horticulture extension specialist at West Virginia University. Jett has extensive experience working with high tunnels, with his work focusing on cultivar selection, crop and soil management, soil fertility, season extension and improving profitability in high tunnel production.
The class will begin at 9 a.m. on Nov. 5 with Jett’s talk, titled, "A Snapshot of Successful High Tunnel Production Systems."
Ajay Nair, associate professor and extension vegetable production specialist at Iowa State, will speak about the effects of using the correct cultivar and on light in a high tunnel. Mike Bollinger, owner of River Root Farm in Decorah, will share his experience operating a small-certified organic farm and greenhouse.
After lunch, Jett will present on profitable winter lettuce production. Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will be the final presenter of the day, sharing helpful tips to avoid season extension head scratchers.
The event will end with an open forum where attendees can ask questions of the day’s presenters.
This event is supported by USDA North Central SARE Professional Development Program.