"US (MS): "Increasingly more farmers are experimenting with high tunnels"

High tunnels are simple, plastic-covered structures that rely mainly on the sun’s energy to warm the soil and air. The name “high tunnel” refers to the fact that they are high enough for a person to stand up in them. High tunnels have been used in Europe and Asia for decades to protect crops from low temperatures in both spring and fall, extending the growing season by 2 to 4 weeks in each growing season. This low-cost growing environment system is relatively new in North America; however, in recent years, more and more farmers are experimenting with high tunnels.

High tunnels are becoming widespread for season-extending production of specialty crops in Mississippi. Increased research and consumer use has shown that high tunnels can provide an economic advantage to growers who use them and can mean attaining a premium price for having produce available well before or long after other local growers. Also, the availability of federal cost-share programs has spurred additional interest.

Mississippi State University Extension has posted a publication that provides a list of suppliers from whom producers may potentially purchase kits, tools, and supplies to construct high tunnels. This is not an exhaustive list. Additional local suppliers may be available. Click here to see the list.

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