Season Extension and Crop Area Multiplication with a Moveable Hoophouse in an Organic System

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2007: $11,230.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Edward Page
CSU Extension


  • Fruits: berries (brambles), berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: beans, peppers, tomatoes


  • Crop Production: cover crops, double cropping, intercropping, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: green manures

    Proposal abstract:

    Areas of the West with short growing seasons, as found around Hotchkiss, Colorado, are looking for ways to extend the season to provide farmers with greater income and consumers with more local food choices. One technique is the use of hoophouses, which waylay frost and enhance heat units.

    While hoophouses can vastly increase production, this Professional + Producer grants is intended to show that portable hoophouses add further benefits. The objectives are to optimize production and net income from a given area of soil and other resources, including water, labor, heat units and solar radiation, by sliding a hoophouse on rails to different positions during the year. The project will divide the growing season into five sections with a goal of extending the season from the current 140 days to as much as 250 days. Hoophouse construction, a seven-year rotation plan and production comparisons with outside crops will be shared with others.

    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.