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3rd Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Monday, November 4, 2019 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Date: Monday, 4th November, 2019; 8:30am-3:00pm
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to 3rd Iowa High Tunnel Short Course. This short course is designed to highlight production and management of several 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. Matt Kleinhenz, Professor at Ohio State University and has many years of experience working on vegetable production in high tunnel systems. His work focuses on cultivar selection, crop and soil management and fertility, season extension, and improving profitability in high tunnels.

The short course will also host Mike and Melanie Seals from Country Roads Produce, Moravia, IA. Their farm grows tomato and other leafy green crops in seven high tunnels and sell at local farmers market. The short course will also host T.D. Holub from Garden Oasis Farm, Independence, IA. He and his wife raise vegetables, free-range eggs and pasture-raised chickens on about 8 acres. Products are marketed through a CSA; at farmers markets in Independence and Iowa City; and to local schools, grocery stores and businesses. Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist will share information about how climate and its impact on specialty crop industry in Iowa. This event is supported by USDA North Central SARE Professional Development Program. 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

9:00-10:00 am

Keynote speaker Dr. Matt Kleinhenz, Ohio State University (Longtime Benefits and Challenges, Emerging Opportunities in high tunnel crop production)

10:00-11:00 am

Mike and Melanie Seals (Growing a Business while Learning to Manage a High Tunnel Growing Operation)

11:00-11:45 am

Moriah Bilenky, Iowa State University (Specialty melon production in high tunnels)

11:45-12:30 pm

Lunch and networking

12:30-1:15 pm

Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist, State of Iowa

1:15-2:00 pm

Matt Kleinhenz [Is Growing (Only) Tomatoes in High Tunnels Mandatory?]

2:00-2:45 pm

T.D. Holub, Garden Oasis Farm, Independence, IA


Evaluation and wrap-up

Registration is required. Please provide information below to register. Please register by October 31, 2019.

1 Start 2 Complete

High tunnel workshops to address common challenges

Friday, April 13, 2018 - 8:30am to 3:30pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Three workshops will be held to help extension staff, county horticulturists, local food coordinators, industry representatives and growers learn to manage common challenges in high tunnels while also discussing new advances in high tunnel production. These workshops are supported by the USDA North Central Sustainable Agriculture and Research.

Topics to be covered include soil management, tomato grafting, insect and disease management and environmental control. A visit to a local farm operating a high tunnel is also part of the workshop. “Participants will learn how to protect the health of soil in a high tunnel so that it stays productive over the long term,” said Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The all-day classes will be held April 6 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Henry County office in Mt. Pleasant, April 10 at the North Iowa Fairgrounds’ 4-H Learning Center in Mason City and April 13 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Cass County office in Atlantic.

Ajay Nair, associate professor of horticulture and extension vegetable production specialist, will lead the workshops along with Donald Lewis, Joe Hannan, Laura Iles, and Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, pathologist with the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic clinic. Register by March 30 by filling the form below. Sign-in begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop with workshop running from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no cost for the workshop, but registration is required as space is limited.