Scheduling Vegetable Planting for Winter Protected Production in the Midwest

2016 Annual Report for ONC15-008

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2015: $29,994.00
Projected End Date: 04/30/2018
Grant Recipient: Purdue University
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:
Elizabeth Maynard
Purdue University

Scheduling Vegetable Planting for Winter Protected Production in the Midwest


In 2016 we continued to monitor environmental conditions in structures at the three farms. In fall 2016 farmers kept track of planting and harvest dates for major crops grown for winter harvest. A trial to compare spinach production in different environments was established at the three farms. We analyzed yield and environmental data from 2015-2016 and began outlining the scheduling tool and related bulletins.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  1. Compile and analyze information previously collected by growers about planting and harvest schedules for cool season crops in protected structures.

Completed in 2015.

  1. Document planting and harvest dates, yield, crop growth, and environmental conditions for selected cool season crops in unheated and minimally heated high tunnels and low tunnels.

Data from the 2015-2016 growing season has been collected and analyzed. We decided to collect more information about planting and harvest dates in different growing environments.

  1. Create a simple model to recommend planting dates for these crops

We began work on this and will continue with the additional data from 2016-2017.

Remaining objectives will be the focus of work in 2017.

  1. Test the planting date recommendations.

  2. Create a tool that farmers can use to improve crop scheduling for these crops in high and low tunnels.
  3. Inform farmers and others and train them to use the tool.


Jan. – March 2016. Farmers continue harvest data collection and submit to PI.

March 5, 2016. Present poster about project at Indiana Small Farm Conference.

April 13, 2016. Project team meeting to review results and begin plans for 2016-2017 growing season.

Oct. 2016. Farmers establish spinach row cover trials. Additional environmental sensors installed. Obtain video footage for outreach video.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Poster presented at 2016 Indiana Small Farm Conference, Danville, IN


Ben Hartman
Clay Bottom Farm
11434 CR 34
Goshen, IN 46528
Office Phone: 5745388741
Michael O'Donnell
Extension Educator
Purdue University Cooperative Extension
Delaware County Building, Room 202
100 West Main Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Office Phone: 7657477732
David Robb
Eden Prairie Farm
2187 Eden Rd.
Greenfield, IN 46140
Office Phone: 3172505105
Nathan Fingerle
RiverRidge Farms
9559 N 250 W
Roann, IN 46974
Office Phone: 2609013125