USDA-NRCS To Launch High Tunnel Pilot Study In California

Imperial and Riverside counties in California are participating in a three-year, 38-state USDA pilot project to determine if high tunnels are effective in improving water efficiency, managing pests, reducing pesticide drift, and providing conservation benefits to growers.

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Growers in the two counties may apply for the pilot project through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices in El Centro and Blythe. Successful applicants will receive approximately half the cost of one high tunnel per farm through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the EQIP Organic Initiative. Applications for 2010 must be received by Jan. 15, 2010, or by Jan. 31, 2010 if the operation is under organic production or transitioning to organic production.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the new pilot project under the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative for growers to establish high tunnels to increase the availability of locally grown produce in a conservation-friendly way.

“There is great potential for high tunnels to expand the availability of healthy, locally grown crops — a win for producers and consumers,” Merrigan said. “This pilot project is going to give us real-world information that farmers all over the country can use to decide if they want to add high tunnels to their operations. We know that these fixtures can help producers extend their growing season and hopefully add to their bottom line.”

For more information, click here.

Source: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

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Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Another waste of tax dollars. Of course high tunnels have great potential. There are so many in use today you don’t have to give tax dollars to someone to prove it. How about you loan the money to them with the expectation of paying it back. Wait a minute, that is what banks are for. Bottom line this is unnecessary.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Sounds like an interesting idea.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

High tunnels are great.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

What is a “High Tunnel”?

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Is New York part of the 38 State study? I am a winegrape grower on Long Island, and I would be interested in participating in this study. Please send me some information.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Another government gravy train. Job creation for administrators under the guise of something new and usefull. High tunnels have been used world wide for over 20 years, including throughout the fruit and vegetable production districts in the US. Old technology dusted off and reborn by unimaginative government bureaucrats. A waste of resources.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Kirk – High tunnels are unheated, plastic-covered structures that provide an intermediate level of environmental protection and control compared to open field conditions and heated greenhouses.

Michael – Yes, New York is included. You can find more information here: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/. The release is on this page.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Kirk ..find out all you need to know about “High Tunnels” at w w w dot tunneltech dot ca! any other questions you may have I will be glad to answer..Carl

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

At first glance this is nothing new. But after considering the economic benefits of these structures to the growers and the assistance that this program brings to this sector, I think it will be a valuable contribution. Wider use of this technology could be helpfull in increasing revenues at the farm gate and reduce imports of produce from south of the border.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

High tunnels are a proven technology. They are profit centers. I am a produce grower with a half acre of Haygroves. They help me to guarantee consistent delivery of perfect veggies to my customers. Late blight destroyed our outside tomatoes this past year, but it only affected the last two plants in each row inside the high tunnels where the rain blew in. The website http://www.hightunnels.org has some excellent unbiased high tunnel information for growers. I’ve also found other Haygrove owners to be very helpful resources.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

So why just in 38 states? I’m a grower in Arizona’s northern high desert. Seems like a test case if I ever heard of one. Of course Arizona not included in study.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Another waste of tax dollars. Of course high tunnels have great potential. There are so many in use today you don’t have to give tax dollars to someone to prove it. How about you loan the money to them with the expectation of paying it back. Wait a minute, that is what banks are for. Bottom line this is unnecessary.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Sounds like an interesting idea.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

High tunnels are great.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

What is a “High Tunnel”?

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Is New York part of the 38 State study? I am a winegrape grower on Long Island, and I would be interested in participating in this study. Please send me some information.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Another government gravy train. Job creation for administrators under the guise of something new and usefull. High tunnels have been used world wide for over 20 years, including throughout the fruit and vegetable production districts in the US. Old technology dusted off and reborn by unimaginative government bureaucrats. A waste of resources.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Kirk – High tunnels are unheated, plastic-covered structures that provide an intermediate level of environmental protection and control compared to open field conditions and heated greenhouses.

Michael – Yes, New York is included. You can find more information here: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/. The release is on this page.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Kirk ..find out all you need to know about “High Tunnels” at w w w dot tunneltech dot ca! any other questions you may have I will be glad to answer..Carl

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

At first glance this is nothing new. But after considering the economic benefits of these structures to the growers and the assistance that this program brings to this sector, I think it will be a valuable contribution. Wider use of this technology could be helpfull in increasing revenues at the farm gate and reduce imports of produce from south of the border.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

High tunnels are a proven technology. They are profit centers. I am a produce grower with a half acre of Haygroves. They help me to guarantee consistent delivery of perfect veggies to my customers. Late blight destroyed our outside tomatoes this past year, but it only affected the last two plants in each row inside the high tunnels where the rain blew in. The website http://www.hightunnels.org has some excellent unbiased high tunnel information for growers. I’ve also found other Haygrove owners to be very helpful resources.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

So why just in 38 states? I’m a grower in Arizona’s northern high desert. Seems like a test case if I ever heard of one. Of course Arizona not included in study.