High tunnel crops to be featured during educational short course

Iowa State University Extension
High tunnel vegetable production.

The Iowa High Tunnel Short course will be held Nov. 9 at Reiman Gardens and will provide growers, educators and other industry personnel with an opportunity to discuss practical and economical aspects of high tunnel crop production, along with recent research findings. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is free to attend. Registration is required.

The course will feature several speakers, including Ajay Nair, associate professor in horticulture and extension vegetable production specialist with Iowa State University, and Dan Fillius, vegetable field specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Nair will provide an overview of potential cover crops that can be used in high tunnel systems, while Fillius will discuss high tunnel maintenance.

The keynote speaker will be Mark Hutton, vegetable extension specialist at Highmoor Farm, a University of Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station located in Monmouth, Maine. Hutton, who conducts applied research in vegetable production and season extension in conventional and organic systems, will also present on compost utilization and fertility in high tunnels

The short course will also host Monika Owczarski, urban farmer with Sweet Tooth Farm, who will discuss low-cost and DIY high tunnels for season extension.

“This short course is designed to highlight production and management of several high tunnel crops along with information on economics and marketing aspects of high tunnel crop production,” explained Nair. “The course will also provide an update on the status of high tunnel research across the Midwest.”

“We hope to connect growers, agricultural educators, extension staff and industry personnel working in high tunnels and in the area of local foods,” added Nair.

The Nov. 9 event is free to attend, however registration is required by Nov. 4. To register, visit https://www.extension.iastate.edu/vegetablelab/2022-iowa-high-tunnel-short-course.  For more information, contact Ajay Nair at 515-294-7080 or nairajay@iastate.edu