Why are High Tunnels used?

High Tunnels that provides season extension, shade and at times increased yieldSeason Extension

  • Compared to open field conditions, plastic-covered high tunnels result in a warmer production environment during late fall, winter and early spring seasons
    • This offers the advantage starting crops earlier in the spring and harvesting them later in the fall
  • Production during the winter season is possible, but this is restricted by severity of winter weather, what crops are grown, and availability of supplemental heat

Provide Shade

  • A primary use of the high tunnel structure during the summer is to hold shade cloth
    • Air temperatures can be reduced by 4 degrees Fahrenheit with 30% shade
    • Light intensity reduction is appropriate in some climates and for some crops, such as cut tulip production in southern California and lettuce and greens production in the Midwest
    • Use of sprinkler irrigation or mist in the summer in combination with shaTomatoesde cloth reduces temperatures under the high tunnels

Economic Benefits

During all seasons, high tunnels provide protection from wind and rain, which can result in increased crop yields and improved quality as well as decreased incidence of pest and disease problems



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