High Value Crop Rotations for Utah High Tunnels

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2007: $144,495.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:
Brent Black
PSC Department, Utah State University
Dr. Brent Black
Utah State University

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: apples, berries (brambles), cherries, peaches, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: peppers, cucurbits, tomatoes


  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, feasibility study, market study
  • Production Systems: general crop production


    A 3-year project focused on developing fruit and vegetable systems suited to high tunnel production in the high-elevation arid Intermountain West. Successful systems were developed for lettuce, tomato, squash and strawberry production. Work with brambles showed that methods suited to other regions were not locally appropriate. Results were disseminated to end users through seven Extension bulletins, 10 grower workshops and eight Extension presentations and two in-service trainings (Extension and NRCS). Communication to the scientific community will be carried out through three research presentations and at least four research journal articles that are in the review process or are nearing completion.

    Project objectives:

    1. 1) To characterize the effect of high tunnels on crop productivity for a range of vegetables and small fruits grown early and late in the annual crop production cycle.
      2) To determine compatible crop rotation strategies under organic production techniques.
      3) To compare in-ground to containerized bench-top planting strategies for effectiveness in season extension and labor efficiency.
      4) To assess the economic benefits of these different crop sequences and management techniques.
      5) To distribute this information to urban and rural farmers and home gardeners of Utah and the Intermountain West at local field days, at extension educational events, and through print and electronic forms.
    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.