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High tunnel basic state conference 2012

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by Terrance T. Nennich. Presented at the 2012 MN Statewide High Tunnel Conference.

by Terrance T. Nennich. Presented at the 2012 MN Statewide High Tunnel Conference.

Published in: Technology, Self Improvement
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  • 1. Basics of High Tunnel Production - 2012 Terrance T. Nennich Extension Professor Vegetable and Small Fruit Production University of Minnesota Extension nenni001@umn.edu
  • 2. High Tunnel Research Sites in Minnesota Experiment Stations Grower Cooperators
  • 3. What are High Tunnels• High tunnels are not a poor persons greenhouse• High tunnels are a separate intense technology which allows crops to be grown up to three zones earlier and later and eliminate considerable risk.
  • 4. What are High Tunnels?• Structures that resemble some greenhouses - in appearances only• Use no artificial heat (except for emergencies)• Use no artificial ventilation such as fans, tubes or forced air• Plants are grown in the ground.• Many shapes and sizes
  • 5. What Can be Grown in High Tunnels in Zones 2 and 3.• Any crop that can normally be grown in the area• Most crops in zones 4 through 5.• Some in zone 6 and be on.
  • 6. Winter Tour
  • 7. Advantages of High Tunnels• 4-8 weeks earlier production in the spring• 2-5 weeks later possible production in the fall• Grow crops not usually grown in the area• Very high yield per plant• Crop mix• Very cost effective• Usually no pesticides needed• Organic production
  • 8. Advantages of High Tunnels• Natural disease control• Insect control• Control water• Guarantee a crop• Reduce cull fruit.
  • 9. Advantages of High Tunnels• Natural disease control• Insect control• Control water• Guarantee a crop• Reduce cull fruit.
  • 10. Concerns of High Tunnels• Cost involved• Education• Planning• Management• Time
  • 11. Key Components of high Tunnels• Good well drained raised soil• Roll Up sides• 6 mil UV treated plastic• Can be built from many materials
  • 12. Why High Tunnels Work• Lets review the principles of plant growth Time Heat Light Stress
  • 13. Time• All plants need time to advance in growth and mature• How much growth that occurs in a given length of time depends on how ideal the environmental growth factors are.• In northern climates heat is the one factor that we need to be concerned about.• Seed catalogs use maximum conditions in deciding growing days.
  • 14. Heat• Plants are classified by there ideal heat requirements.• Tomatoes , peppers, 80-90 degrees• Cucumber , melons , 85-95 degrees• Heat is measured in growing degree days• Duration of Temperature is Critical
  • 15. Growing Degree Units• Normal figure used for warm season crops is 50 low and 86 high• Growing degree Units = (high for day+ low for the day) – 50 Divided by 2 (86) (50)
  • 16. Growing Degree Days units for Tomatoes• Early to mid-season tomatoes will require 1400 to 1600 GDD to the first ripe fruit.• Late season varieties will require 2000 to 2200 GDD
  • 17. Growing degree day samplesLow of 40, high of 60 = 5 GDDLow of 40, high of 50 = 0 GDDLow of 50, high of 70 = 10 GDDLow of 60, high of 86 = 23 GDD
  • 18. Growing Degree Comparison Inside and Outside Tunnel • Inside Tunnel • Outside Tunnel• March 281 GDU • March 5 GDU• April 435 GDU • April 99 GDU• May 502 GDU • May 183 GDU• June 570 GDU • June 366 GDU• July 624 GDU • July 505 GDU• Aug 544 GDU • Aug 374 GDU• Sept 570 GDU • Sept 396 GDU• Oct 303 GDU • Oct 101 GDU
  • 19. Growing Degree Days units for Tomatoes• Early to mid-season tomatoes will require 1400 to 1600 GDD to the first ripe fruit.• Late season varieties will require 2000 to 2200 GDD
  • 20. High Tunnel Planting Dates Northern Minnesota• Onions , radishes, lettuce Mar 25-Apr 7• Cabbage, broccoli ect Apr 7-15• Tomatoes, peppers April 25 - May 10
  • 21. Different Locations in the state • March 31• Bemidji Minnesota high 45 Low 20• Austin Minnesota high 47 Low 28
  • 22. • January 2006
  • 23. Production Data• Tomatoes : first harvest in tunnel July 18• First harvest outside Aug.11• Yield 10-25+ per plant• Cucumbers: first harvest June 16• Yield per plant 30-35 pounds
  • 24. Common Mistakes Beginning Growers Make• Tunnels get to hot >130+• Don’t shut roll up sides early enough in the evening-loose growing degree units 5 GDU a day for a month = 5-8 day• Weed Control inside and out• Monitor the water uptake• Punning and trellising
  • 25. Tunnel Direction• Narrow end against prevailing high winds• The outside air direction has little to do with the cooling of the tunnel• Recommend tunnel construction for 100 MPH winds
  • 26. Yield Potential & Nutrient Needs • Yields in a high tunnel can be 3 to 4 times the yield obtained in the field • Higher yields will required more nutrients, but knowing how much to apply is a challenge – Lack of nutrients – deficiencies – Excessive nutrients – salt build up – Both situations affect yield and quality
  • 27. Cucumber Results Cucumbers All the fruit from all 26 cucumber plants were weighed and evaluated for quality. All data is in pounds per plant.Sweet Success First Harvest June 8 Total Yield/Plant 65.12 Culls 8.0 MKT/sq/ft 9,52 Total sq/ft 10.85 Total Yield Acre = 472,628 or 236 tons.
  • 28. Soil Nutrient Research Sweet Success Cucumbers 0-6 inch soil depth N P KBefore Season 335 330 1050After Harvest 12 175 256
  • 29. Soil Nutrient Research Sweet Success Cucumbers 6-12 inch soil depth N P KBefore Season 100 150 580After Harvest 7 69 320
  • 30. Tomato ResultsVariety First harvest Total yield Culls Marketable sq/ft Total sq/ft Cobra June 28 37.0 4.0 3.89 4.63Sunshine June 24 16.5 5.1 1.90 2.75 Mt. Spring July 11 18.5 4.2 2.38 3.08
  • 31. Soil Nutrient Research Cobra Tomatoes 6-12 inch soil depth N P KBefore Season 100 150 580After Harvest 8 80 320
  • 32. Soil Nutrient Research Cobra Tomatoes 12-24 inch soil depth N P KBefore Season 18 60 275After Harvest 8 55 260
  • 33. Soil Nutrient Research Cobra Tomatoes 0-6 inch soil depth N P KBefore Season 335 330 1050After Harvest 11 215 235
  • 34. Berry quality
  • 35. High Tunnel Roof Vent
  • 36. • Air leaves the solar panels at about 125-175 degrees depending on the amount of sun• Air leaves the soil at 50 – 75 degrees to be recirculated through the solar panels (this is a closed system )
  • 37. Solar Heating of the Soil• Cucumbers – May 15• Tomatoes – June 5
  • 38. Results to Date• Soil temperatures have been kept at minimum of 52 degrees even though outside temperature have been well below 10 degrees.• At this temperature, cool season crops are doing very well
  • 39. Local High Tunnel List Serve• Be sure to sign up for the Minnesota/North Dakota List Serve.• Talk to local producers, be informed of upcoming events.
  • 40. On line at:www.hightunnels.cfans.umn.eduMinnesota Fruit and VegetableGrowers Association – (763) 434-0400
  • 41. Minnesota High Tunnel WebSite•http://hightunnels.cfans.umn.edu/
  • 42. Upcoming Research• Plant density studies• Fertility studies• Variety Studies• Irrigation Studies• Raspberries, Perennial crops , Overwintering
  • 43. Seminars on High Tunnels• Getting Started with High Tunnels• Crops and Yields• Marketing• Soil Fertility/Nutrient Use• Irrigation• High Tunnel design• Organic Production• Fruit Production
  • 44. QUESTIONS???????????

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