High Tunnels Information

High Tunnel Design, Site Development, and Construction: By Stacy A. Adams, Associate Professor of Practice and Kim A. Todd, Extension Landscape Specialist. Experienced specialty plant growers can increase the quality of their products and the duration of their market- ing of high-value crops through the use of high tunnels.

Nebraska Fact Sheet: Seasonal High Tunnel System for Crops: "A seasonal high tunnel is a polyethylene covered structure with no electrical, ventilation, or heating system, at least 6 feet in height, which modifies the climate to create more favorable growing conditions for vegetable and other speciality crops grown in the natural soil beneath it." -USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

High Tunnel Project Video: UNL Assistant Professor of Practice Stacy Adams and student Elias Bloom talk about the benefits of using high tunnels or cold frames to extend your gardening season.

Introduction to High Tunnels:Nebraska Extension online article by Kristin Pool and Alex Stone of Oregon State University, on the basics of high tunnels, the types of high tunnels, and the advantages & disadvantages of high tunnels.

Nebraska Fact Sheet: Expanding or Transitioning to Organic Agriculture with EQIP:"According to the USDA Census of Agriculture’s 2008 Organic Production Survey, organic production is poised to grow over the next five years. In 2008, organic farms had $3.16 billion in total sales – $1.94 billion in crop sales and $1.22 billion in sales of livestock, poultry and their products. Organic farms had average annual sales of $217,675, compared to the $134,807 average for U.S. farms overall." -USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Season Extension Topic Room by SARE: From low covers to high tunnels, from hoop houses to greenhouses – producers are finding ever more innovative ways to extend the growing season, and their income stream. Topics include: types & construction, variety trials & selection, fertility; pest; and water management, energy, amd marketing & economics.

Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use: "High tunnels, also referred to as “hoop houses,” are simple, plastic-covered, passive solar-heated structures in which crops are grown in the ground. High tunnels resemble greenhouses, but are less expensive to construct and maintain. Fruit and vegetable growers use them to extend the growing season and intensify production in cold climates." -Iowa State University Extension & Outran

Early Season Extension Using Hotcaps by Laurie Hodges: Hotcaps are covers used to protect individual plants from low temperature stress early in the season. They are usually used by home gardeners or market gardeners with limited production. Growers with more acres or more extensive production tend to use row covers or high tunnels that protect more than one plant. 

Good Agricultural Practices for Food Safety of Fresh Produce by Laurie Hodges: The following is a condensed checklist of practices and conditions that reduce the potential for fresh produce to be exposed to pathogenic microbes. Review your farm practices and identify those areas where you can take actions that will increase the safety of the food you produce. Then, develop a written plan of appropriate good agricultural practices for your farm.

Food Safety for Farmers' Market Vendors by Julie Albrecht: Farmer’s Markets provide opportunities for producers to sell food products for added income. This food should be whole- some and safe. Vendors at Farmer’s Markets are responsible for the safety of the products they offer for sale. If customers are unhappy with the products they purchase from a stand, they will not be back. Word of mouth advertisement from a bad experience may not be good for future business. 

Weights and Measures Guidelines for Sales at Farmers' Markets by Laurie Hodges: Retail sale of fruits, vegetables and other items, including those at farmers’ markets and roadside stands, is regulated by the Nebraska Weights and Measures Act. Learn about what’s required by the Act and how to comply. 

Direct Marketing Channels by Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska: If you are a new market farmer, direct-to-customer-retail marketing is a great way to get started. You have to be a good planner, have time and enjoy meeting and talking to people.