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2023 Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

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

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
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.

Category: 
 
1 Start 2 Complete

Iowa Specialty Crop Growers Association Summer Field Day

Thursday, July 27, 2023 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
Event Type: 

The day will begin with a tour of Deal’s Orchard, focusing on their summer produce and floriculture areas. This will include discussion on the following:

  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Zinnias
  • Sunflowers

We will then break for lunch before touring the orchard and discussing cider production. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the field day begins at 10 a.m. For an accurate meal count, attendees are required to pre-register by July 18th.

Venue Deal's Orchard
Address 1102 244th St.Jefferson IA 50129, US
Starts Thu Jul 27 2023, 10:00am CDT
Ends Thu Jul 27 2023, 02:00pm CDT

Register Now!

Category: 

2022 Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 8:30am to 3:30pm
Event Type: 

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
Date: Wednesday, 9th November, 2022; 8:30am-3:30pm
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to 2022 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. Mark Hutton, University of Maine. Mark is the Vegetable Extension Specialist at the Highmoor Farm, University of Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station located in Monmouth Maine. He conducts applied research in vegetable production and season extension in conventional and organic systems.  Prior to joining UMaine Extension, he worked as a commercial vegetable breeder. He is from Hershey, Pennsylvania and earned a B.S. in Horticulture and M.S. in Entomology both from The Pennsylvania State University. His Ph.D. is in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the University of New Hampshire.

The short course will also host Monika Owczarski from Sweet Tooth Farm, Des Moines. This urban farm grows a variety of vegetables on a network of lots right in the heart of the city to tackle the issue of access to fresh fruits and vegetables and food insecurity. Sweet Tooth Farm is working collaboratively with Radiate DSM, another urban farm, to create the Rooted Farm Collective. There will be a session focusing on Cut Flowers in Tunnels.  Dan Fillius from ISU Extension and Outreach will discuss high tunnel maintenance and Ajay Nair, Department of Horticulture, will cover potential cover crops that can be used in high tunnel systems.  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. 

Registration is free but required. Please provide information below to register. Registration deadline is 4 November, 2022.

Tentative schedule:

8:30 am

Registration and coffee/refreshments

9:00-10:00 am

Keynote - High Tunnels in the Northeast Where Are We and Where Did We Start - Mark Hutton, University of Maine

10:00-10:45 am

Low-cost and DIY Tunnels for Basic Season Extension - Monika Owczarski, Sweet Tooth Farm

10:45-11:30 am

Tour of the Reiman Gardens – Ed Lyon

11:30-12:30 pm

Lunch and networking

12:30-1:15 pm

Prepare for high winds, from construction to daily/weekly maintenance to last minute preparations - Dan Fillius

1:15-2:00 pm

Cut Flowers in High Tunnels

2:00-2:45 pm

Cover Crops For High Tunnels – Ajay Nair, ISU

2:45-3:30 pm

Compost Utilization and Fertility in High Tunnels - Mark Hutton, University of Maine

3:30pm

Final comments and adjourn

Category: 
 
1 Start 2 Complete

2021 Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Monday, November 8, 2021 - 8:30am to 3:30pm
Event Type: 

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
Date: Monday, 8th November, 2021; 8:30am-3:30pm
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to 2021 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 Mr. John Dindia, Lakeview Hill Farm, Leelanau County, Michigan. Lakeview Hill Farm is a Certified Organic produce farm specializing in hoophouse and greenhouse production. John grows variety of vegetables with a focus on greenhouse heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, salad greens, and microgreens. 

The short course will also host Liz Graznak from Happy Hollow Farm, Jamestown, MO. The farm grows a variety of vegetables both outside and in high tunnels using a combination of highly managed cover cropping techniques, crop rotations, compost applications, and hay mulch. The short course will also host Eric and Ann Franzenburg, Pheasant Run Farm, Van Horne, IA. Eric and Ann will present information on utilizing high tunnels for cut flower production.  Dr. Wenjing Guan, Purdue University, will share information about cultivars, grafting, and other strategies to enhance cucumber production in high tunnels. 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/refreshments

9:00-10:00 am

Keynote speaker John Dindia, Michigan (Topic:)

10:00-11:00 am

Wenjing Guan, Purdue (Topic:)

11:00-11:45 am

Tour of the Reiman Gardens

11:45-12:30 pm

Lunch and networking

12:30-1:15 pm

Ann and Eric Franzenburg (Topic:)

1:15-2:15 pm

Liz Graznak, MO  (Topic:)

2:15-3:15 pm

John Dindia, Michigan (Topic:)

3:15-3:30pm

Evaluation and wrap-up

Registration is free but required. Please provide information below to register. Registration deadline is October 31, 2021.

Category: 
 
1 Start 2 Complete

Vegetable Pest Management Workshop, Wapello County

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 9:00am to 2:30pm
Event Type: 

NOTE: Dear participants, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this workshop will not be offered on site. We are evaluating options to offer this workshop virtually (Zoom, Webex, etc.).

AMES, Iowa – A vegetable Integrated Pest Management Workshop will be held at the Wapello County ISU Extension and Outreach, Ottumwa, IA on April 9, 2020. The workshop is designed to help growers, local foods coordinators, extension staff, county horticulturists and industry representatives learn about managing common insects, diseases, and nutritional issues in high tunnel vegetable production systems.

Topics include insect, disease, and nutrition management, beneficial insects, and sensor-based technologies to manage high tunnels. Workshop presenters include Ajay Nair (Vegetable Extension Specialist), Donald Lewis (Entomologist), Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca (Pathologist) and Joe Hannan (Commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach).

Participants will get an opportunity to visit a local high tunnel vegetable grower (Molly Larking) and engage in hands-on activities (scouting, installing soil moisture sensor, etc.). The workshop is supported by a professional development grant by USDA North Central Sustainable Research and Education. Workshop time is from 9-2:30pm. Below is a tentative agenda

  • 9:00 Welcome and icebreaker (15 min)
  • 9:15 Common Insect Challenges (45 min)
    • spider mites, aphids, flea beetle, horn worm, whitefly
    • pollinators for cucumber (honey bees vs bumble bees)
  • 10:00 Common disease and nutrient challenge (45 hour)
  • 10:45 Break (15 min)
  • 11:00 Using technology to manage your high tunnel (45 min)
  • 11:45 Round robin discussion (45)
  • 12:30 Lunch (BBQ)
  • 1:15 Leave for Molly Larking (Field)
  • Please provide information below to register. Registration must be completed by April 3, 2020. There is no cost for the workshop. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
Category: 
 
1 Start 2 Complete

3rd Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

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

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
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

2:45-3:00pm

Evaluation and wrap-up

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

Category: 
 
1 Start 2 Complete

Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
Date: Monday, 6th November, 2017; 8:30am
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to first 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. Keynote speaker is Adam Montri from Michigan State University. Adam, along with his wife Dru, is the co-owner of Ten Hens Farm, LLC in Bath, Michigan. Adam and Dru started Ten Hens in 2008 and now farm three acres of outdoor production during the traditional Midwest growing season and year-round in over 17,000 sqft of high tunnel space. They market their produce through one farmers market, an on-farm stand, multiple restaurants, other farms, a grocery store, two multi-farm CSAs, and two senior center/assisted living facilities. Adam is also a hoophouse outreach specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University (MSU) and with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems where he works with farmers throughout Michigan on the Hoophouses for Health 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:

8:30am: Registration and coffee
9-10am: Keynote speaker Adam Montri, Michigan State University (Title: Two Acres and a High Tunnel: How Season Extension has gone from Niche to Necessity and Where It Fits in the Future)
10-10:45am: Ajay Nair (Title: Cucurbit crops for high tunnel production)
10:45-11:45am: Cary Rivard, Kansas State University (Title: Breaking Bad Habits: Integrating Crop Diversity into High Tunnel Production Systems)
11:45-12:30pm: Lunch and networking
12:30-1:15pm: Laura Iles and Lina Rodriguez (Title: Disease and insect management in high tunnels)
1:15-2:15: Adam Montri (Title: Crop Selection, Pricing and Economics for Successful Year-Round High Tunnel Production)
2:15-3pm: Joe Hannan (Title: Valuable lessons from production to marketing of high tunnel tomatoes)

Registration is required. Please provide information below to register. Please register by November 2, 2017.

Category: 

High Tunnel Tomato Production Workshop

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 9:00am to 3:15pm
Event Type: 

Cedar Valley Produce Auction • 18072 Addison Ave • Elma, IA

Topics for the day include: 

  • Environmental control
  • How to tell if it is a disease
  • Common insect, disease and fertility issues
  • Insurance: whole farm revenue protection
  • Grafting
  • Maintaining productivity in a monoculture

This free event is sponsored by the Cedar Valley Produce Auction.

Category: 

Integrating Cover Crops in High Tunnel Crop Production

High tunnels are plastic-covered, passively ventilated and heated structures where crops are grown directly in soil. They have become important tools for Iowa specialty crop producers to increase production of quality crops, extend the season, and increase profitability. The environment in a high tunnel, without rainfall, limited space, and potential climate control requires a unique set of crop management skills. High tunnel production is primarily dominated by tomatoes. Interest among growers focuses on year-round production in high tunnels.
Category: 

Effect of Plastic Mulch Color on Tomato Production in High Tunnels

High tunnel production is increasing in Iowa as they provide protection from wind and frost and help extend the growing season. Although production aspects inside high tunnels are similar to field production, high tunnel environment is challenging especially when it comes to temperature management. During summer, temperatures rise fairly quickly in high tunnels and can detrimentally affect crop growth and development. It is not uncommon to see temperatures above 100 degrees F inside high tunnels.
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Dr. Ajay Nair

Dr. Ajay Nair
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor
Extension Vegetable Specialist
Area of Expertise: 
Sustainable Vegetable Production