Local food growers who use season extension may see multiple benefits. Yields and quality can be improved. Growers can also be first to market with earlier crops and produce longer into the fall.
Growing in a high tunnel, a.k.a. hoop house, or using other means of season extension come with a unique set of challenges; different pests and diseases, crop rotation, irrigation management, etc.
So, here are some resources and educational opportunities for those looking to add season extension to their farming mix or make improvements to existing practices.
- Basic management info
- Crop specific recommendations
- Economics and marketing
- High tunnel conference presentations
- Additional resources
Date: August 8th, 2016
Location: Tour leaves from Little Falls, will visit two farms
Deadline: July 30th
In addition to the farm visits, topics and speakers include;
Dr. Angela Orshinsky and Dr. Chris Phillips, University of Minnesota
- High tunnel integrated pest management
- Pest and disease scouting
- Spotted wing drosophila
Terry Nennich, UMN Extension, Emeritus
- High tunnel research results
- Successful high tunnel production
Research at the West Central Research and Outreach Center has shown great results from low tunnel strawberry production. Their website features articles on different aspects of the production system as they go through the growing season.
If you’re interested in this system, I highly recommend the free eBook "Cold climate strawberry farming” featured on this site.
At this event, you can participate in the construction of a low tunnel! A tour will also include growing techniques and tips for day-neutral strawberry cultivars in the Upper Midwest.
The tour is part of the annual Horticulture Night at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris.
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2016
Time: Tour times are at 5:15 and 7:15 pm.
Location: West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris
Recorded presentation: Increasing vegetable production with economical season extension
High tunnels are not the only game in ‘season extension town'. In this recorded presentation, Terry Nennich, UMN Extension Emeritus, discusses…
- Raised beds
- Plastic mulch
- Row covers
- Low tunnels
Because it’s hot (especially in a high tunnel!): Heat illness and agriculture
Work still needs to get done despite how unpleasant the weather may be. This Penn State Extension article goes over the risks, symptoms and strategies for dealing with excessive heat on the farm. A few of their tips include…
- Drink approximately 8 oz. (1 cup) of water about every 15–30 minutes. (Note: Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water!)
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, drugs and large amounts of sugar because they can speed up the dehydration process.
- If you are a farm owner or manager, educate your workers about the prevention and emergency response of heat-related illnesses. Also observe your employees for heat related problems as well.
That's it for this week, have a great weekend!