Presentation on theme: "Use of structures, technology, or materials to provide protection to a crop. Protection from: – Temperature and Light Extremes (high and low) – Insects."— Presentation transcript:
Use of structures, technology, or materials to provide protection to a crop. Protection from: – Temperature and Light Extremes (high and low) – Insects and wildlife pests – Diseases – Wind – Rainfall, excessive dew, etc. – Soil-borne problems (with soilless culture)
Plastic Mulch And Drip Irrigation Frost Covers, Row Covers Temporary Covers plus Misters (Microjets) Low Tunnels (1-2 feet high) High Tunnels, Walk-in Tunnels, Hoop Houses (usually about 8-15 ft high) Shade Culture Greenhouses (heating, cooling, shading, etc) Fan and Pad vs. Passively Ventilated Pest Exclusion (screening and metalized mulch)
High tunnels are unheated, plastic-covered structures with the goals of using low-cost technology to increase yields, improve quality, and extend the season.
High tunnels are tall enough to walk-in comfortably and to grow tall, trellised crops such as tomatoes There are no standard dimensions for high tunnel sizes, but they typically fall within the ranges of 14-30 feet wide by 30-96 feet long
Most high tunnels are passively ventilated via roll-up sidewalls and end walls that can be opened or removed. Crops generally require no heat, though supplementary heat can be provided for protection.
Row covers used within high tunnels provide additional protection from cold temperatures In general, a single layer (the poly on the high tunnel) provides one hardiness zone of protection, and a second (the row cover) will provide another zone of protection
Check local zoning ordinances North/South axis to avoid shade and take advantage of predominant winds Removal of excess water is crucial 1” water falling on a 30x96 house= 0.6 gals/ft² = 1,728 gallons Level & square Think about recapturing / reusing runoff Location
Crops are typically grown in ground beds within the high tunnel rather than in containers Crops grown in these ground beds must be irrigated because rain cannot enter the protective structure
New Opportunities to Grow Difficult Crops Price Advantage (offseason) Hold Customers Longer More Total Sales Uniqueness…First or Only to Have a Product Keep Labor on Farm Spread Cash Flow
Less weed pressure? Insect & disease control ? Crop protection from wind, rain, cold, heat (with shade cloth)
Unlike commercial greenhouses that cost up to $20 per square foot to construct, high tunnels can cost as little as $0.50 per square foot
Per structure or per square foot – $5500/(30’ x 96’) = $1.90/sq.ft. Including extras, labor and freight – $5500 + $1500 = $7000 ($2.43/sq.ft.) Spread out over time (10 years) – $700/year Operating costs/management
FarmTek, Atlas, Stuppy $1200/(18’ x 24’) = $2.77 sq.ft. $5500/(30’ x 96’) = $1.76 Haygrove $22,000/(96’ x 200’) = $1.15 Homemade $1000/(14’ x 100) = $0.71 $500/(18’ x 30) = $0.93
0.6–1.0 m (24-39 in) in height Cover low growing crops such as lettuce Floating row cover material supported by small hoops Protects plants from pests like aphids, thrips, and leaf- feeding beetles Cold & sun protection
Harvests June 16 – November 9, 2006 Total Marketable = 4,139 boxes/A – Fancy = 3,460 boxes/A – US No 1 = 477 boxes/A – US No 2 = 202 boxes/A
Harvest DatesAverage Fruit Width (in) z 16 Jun3.67 23 Jun3.63 10 Jul3.54 27 Jul3.47 18 Aug3.00 12 Sep3.13 13 Oct3.35 9 Nov3.30 z Average fruit width was determined by measuring 15 randomly selected fruits from the US Fancy category. Measurements were taken across the base of the fruit near the stem end, the widest part of the fruit.
For more information visit the Small Farms website at http://smallfarms.ifas.ufl.edu Take a virtual field day tour by visiting the Virtual Field Day website at http://vfd.ifas.ufl.edu
The Protected Agriculture Information Network Invites you to attend the “Treasure Coast Protected Ag Workshop” Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Time: 8:00 am to 1:30 pm Hosts: Ed Skvarch, Christine Kelly- Begazo, Teresa Salamé and Bielinski Santos Place: Indian River Research & Education Center, 2199 South Rock Road, Ft. Pierce, Florida Cost: FREE (RSVP to Teresa Salamé [firstname.lastname@example.org] by November 4, 2011) or call the St. Lucie County Extension (772) 462-1660 to register by phone.