Organic Farming and High Tunnels

High tunnels look like the perfect tool for organic planting.

Also known as a house of hoops, these structures resemble a greenhouse. They cost less than conventional greenhouses.

While the green house planted products “Above the ground” in a raised bed or in a tall pot tunnel, usually grows in the ground.

The growth of tall tunnels has been used in Europe for a while. US is still lagging behind But local popularity is increasing Small fruits, most vegetables and flowers can be grown in a high tunnel.

The advantages that the high tunnel offers are suitable for the needs of organic farmers:

Extended growing season: Depending on the geographic area, plants can grow faster than field crops in 4-8 weeks and can stay in the ground for the next 2-3 weeks.

In many areas this is equal to additional harvesting.

Better Productivity: HOPP houses provide a more controlled environment, providing protection from weather and pests.

As a result, products grown in high tunnels tend to be less damaged.

Higher quality: Studies show that products grown in these structures have better taste and appearance than products that are not grown in tunnels.

Hoop house farming increases your productivity. For organic farmers, it provides more protection from pests and can be reduced.

This is one of the weaknesses of organic farming because natural pest control systems are not as effective as chemical pesticides.

Organic growers, who are now serving customers who like to buy fresh produce from local markets,

can enter the market a few weeks earlier this season and may attract more of these consumers.

There is clear evidence that organic farmers will yield significantly more per acre and enjoy higher profits than seasonally by using carefree homes.

Of course, there are investments for the purchase and installation of high tunnel structures. Prices range from $ 4,000 to $ 8,000 for a 24-foot-96-foot structure. There are many assessments about what the return on investment (ROI) for a home is.

That number appears to vary depending on the area of ​​the country and the type of plants.

For example, the University of Minnesota published a raspberry research study that calculated ROI is under three years. Studies show clear differences in the plump, color and flavor phenomena when compared to raspberries grown in the open field.

Productivity per plant increases by 60% to 110% in high tunnels in a webinar presentation sponsored by JR Johnson. Carl Fordsford, PhD. Professor at the University of Minnesota Extension provides information at Supporting a high tunnel tomato scenario,

where ROI is less than one year Of course, the biggest variable is the price charged to the market.

Since organic farmers have already received a premium price for production, the return should be very good and may be better than non-certified organic growers.

Another consequence of high tunnel growth is that farmers in northern climates can begin to produce crops that they cannot normally grow reliably in shorter seasons.

Who would expect the local population to pay a premium for fresh produce that has never been seen before?

The debate about the pros and cons of organic farming continues.

Organic food enthusiasts claim that organic food is good for your health, tastes better and is better for the environment.

The other side claims that there is no real evidence that organic food is better for you or the environment.

There is also a claim that organic farming is less efficient than traditional farming and there is not enough cultivation area in the world to feed everyone if organic farming is the only way.

Numerous studies have shown that the gap in increasing productivity between organic farming and organic agriculture can be closed with better techniques and technology.

This is a low-tech solution that can definitely close the gap in the market for fresh fruit and vegetables.


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