Announcements

Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Last commentsmore »

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




US (MI): Production of cut flowers and vegetables in high-tunnels

Why produce flowers and vegetables in a high-tunnel rather than in an open field is certainly a legitimate question. After all, high tunnels are not cheap. So why do it? Granted, high-tunnel production of any crop is not for everyone - and it’s not for every crop. Generally, the most economical crops are high-value crops, flowers and many vegetables also fit into this category. Vegetables like pumpkins, sweet corn, watermelon and others would not be economical. So, just what are the advantages?

Season extension
This is one of the biggest factors in a northern climate situation. For warm season crops like tomatoes and cucumbers, the additional heat allows for earlier spring planting and extends the harvest period in the fall. Then, cool season crops such as spinach, lettuce and others can be planted, and with further protection, be harvested through much of the winter. This also has the advantage of a more continuous income flow throughout the year.

Local off-season supply and higher return
This goes along with season extension. By having a local supply of a traditionally shipped-in, off-season product, producers can demand a higher price from those individuals and establishments emphasizing “local”.

Reduced disease
By keeping rain and dew off plants, greatly reduces the incidence of fruit and foliar diseases.

Higher quality
Tunnels tend to increase size and attractiveness. This is seen best in flowers where stems are longer, flowers larger and colors appear brighter. Fruit bearing cops will also have larger fruit with fewer blemishes.

Greater yield
This is a combination of higher quality, less disease, larger size and greater numbers. Many flowers will have close to 100 percent marketable stems since they grow larger and have less petal damage.

Reduced fertilizer inputs
Fertilizer rates can be reduced by nearly 50 percent of the field rate. Field rates in tunnels produce excessive growth and make production and harvest activities difficult and may even reduce yields in crops like tomatoes.

Greater precision
Making exact changes in a small area is easier than across a larger field. This could be in the area of soil pH, macro and micronutrients, light, wind, weeds, etc.


High tunnel production for cut flowers and vegetables. Photo by: MSU

This is not to say high-tunnels solve all problems, that everyone should get a tunnel and grow everything under tunnels. Tunnels are a higher level of management and commitment that needs to be considered before making that leap. Irrigation and crop rotation can become significant issues and some production practices will need to be changed compared to field practices. Pollination for some crops is also a concern since honey bees do not like to fly in the tunnels. Tunnels can also increase some problems such as mites and thrips. High-tunnel production will be a topic at the third annual MSU Ag Innovation. Research and Extension personnel will be available to discuss high tunnel technology during the morning session and an afternoon session will specifically discuss flower and vegetable production

MSU Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Fruit and Vegetable Technologies, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. June 28 at the MSU Southwest Research and Extension Center in Benton Harbor, Michigan, offers a variety of fruit, vegetable and grape growing technologies, including the latest information on pollinators and equipment. The event has been approved for Restricted Use Pesticide Credits (6 credits) and Certified Crop Advisor CEUs in Integrated Pest Management, Crop Management, Soil and Water Management and Sustainability. For detailed session descriptions, visit http://www.canr.msu.edu/msu_agriculture_innovation_day/ or contact Ron Bates at batesr@msu.edu.

Publication date: 5/16/2018

 


 

Other news in this sector:

5/22/2018 CAN (ON): Inside the Toronto’s spring rush of plant production
5/22/2018 US: FAQ regarding the New Worker Protection Standard
5/22/2018 Turkey: Growers from Izmir start export to the Netherlands
5/22/2018 Turkey: Alanya Municipality saves 600,000 USD by growing own flowers, plants for its parks
5/21/2018 "Offering and unifying all our brands"
5/21/2018 Russian market after 2020
5/21/2018 "Growers can definitely replace screens themselves"
5/18/2018 Turkey cut flower production and export figures for Mother’s Day
5/17/2018 NL: Ter Laak project reaches new milestone
5/17/2018 Flowers sent by the Turkish Flower Auction to the market for Mother’s Day
5/17/2018 "New jet tubes ideal for Next Generation Growing"
5/15/2018 Getting the most out of your greenhouse poly
5/14/2018 CAN (MB): Province to sell Pineland Forest Nursery
5/11/2018 Northwest Europe discovers the benefits of coating
5/8/2018 Turkey: Ipekyolu municipality sets up a professional greenhouse
5/7/2018 Turkey: Suleymanpasa municipality sets up greenhouse to guide growers in the region
5/4/2018 Turkey: Senator gives full support for production of ornamental plants
5/3/2018 Turkey: Tourists show great interest in tulip fields in Konya
5/1/2018 Construction begins on Colombian cannabis cultivation greenhouse
5/1/2018 Russia: Saint Petersburg to meet 60% of local demand in flowers

 

Leave a comment: (max. 500 characters)

  1. All comments which are not related to the article contents will be removed.
  2. All comments with non-related commercial content, will be removed.
  3. All comments with offensive language, will be removed.




  Display email address

  new code