2023 Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 - 8:30am to 3:30pm
Event Type: 

Date: Wednesday, 13th December, 2023; 8:30am-3:30pm
Venue: Iowa Arboretum, 1875 Peach Ave, Madrid, IA 50156

Welcome to 2023 Iowa High Tunnel Short Course. This short course is designed to highlight production and management of high tunnel crops along with information on economics and marketing aspects of high tunnel crop production. The course will also provide an update on the status of high tunnel research across the Midwest. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Rachel Rudolph, University of Kentucky. Rachel is the Extension Vegetable Specialist at University of Kentucky. She works on high tunnel systems, abiotic disorders, crop nutrition, and soil fertility.  Her research focuses on utilizing alternative approaches to manage issues in both the field and high tunnel systems, such as grafting with resistant rootstock to manage for root knot nematodes. Rachel has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a   M.S. in Plant & Environmental Sciences from New Mexico State University. She has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Washington State University.

The short course will also host Andrew and Amy Phelps, Phelps Farm, Guttenberg, IA. They run an organic farm specializing in vegetables, beekeeping, and flowers. Kat Becker from Cattail Organics, Athens, WI will be speaking on plantings that are appropriate for high tunnels and caterpillar tunnels. Cattail Organics produces organic vegetables, seedlings, maple syrup and herbs for our Central Wisconsin Community. Dan Fillius from ISU Extension and Outreach will discuss Amish high tunnel technologies and Ajay Nair, Department of Horticulture, will discuss soil testing and soil test interpretation for high tunnel systems. The short course is supported by North Central SARE Professional Development Grant. Core objectives of this short course are to:

  • Highlight the importance of crop, environment, and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels
  • Provide a platform to share resources, knowledge, and expertise in the area of high tunnel vegetable production
  • Connect growers, agricultural educators, extension staff, and industry personnel working in high tunnels and in the area of local foods. 

Tentative schedule:

8:30 AM Registration and coffee/refreshments
9:00-10:00 am Keynote – Rachel Rudolph, University of Kentucky
10:00-10:45 am Low Cost, High Tech – Andrew and Amy Phelps, Phelps Farm, Guttenberg, IA
10:45-11:30 am Prioritizing what to plant in high tunnels vs. caterpillar tunnels – Kat Becker, Cattail Organics, WI
11:30-12:30 pm Lunch and networking
12:30-1:30 pm Amish High Tunnel Technologies - Dan Fillius
1:30-2:15 pm Management of lettuce drop in high tunnels – Rachel Rudolph
2:15-2:30 pm Break
2:30-3:15 pm High tunnel soil test interpretation – Ajay Nair
3:15-3:30pm Final comments, Evaluation, and adjourn

Registration is free but required. Please provide information below to register. Please register below.

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