Low Tunnels in Vegetable Crops: Beyond Season Extension

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2016: $252,542.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2019
Grant Recipient: Virginia Tech
Region: Southern
State: Virginia
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Mark Reiter
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Dr. Ramon Arancibia
University of Missouri Extension
To improve sustainability, farmers use intensive production systems such as mulches, floating row covers as well as low tunnels and high tunnels to protect against cold temperatures and extend the production season of high value specialty crops. Farmers use row covers as low tunnels or floating blankets to protect against light freezes in the spring and then remove them after the risk has passed. Additional benefits of low tunnels include enhance vegetative growth and increased yield, protection against insects, reduced evapotranspiration and irrigation water needs, and improved nutrient as well as land use efficiency. Therefore, low tunnels can improve the sustainability of specialty crops operations. Here we discuss the benefits of using low tunnels for season-long production of specialty crops.
Ramon Arancibia, Virginia Cooperative Extension
Target audiences:
Farmers/Ranchers; Educators
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.