High tunnel vegetable workshops announced

Richard Bogren, Motsenbocker, Carl E.

Fruit, vegetable and flower growers can use a high tunnel greenhouse structure to extend the seasons of crop production. (Photo by Carl Motsenbocker, LSU AgCenter)

(01/26/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service will present a series of workshops on producing commercial vegetables and cut flowers using high tunnels, or hoop houses, in several Louisiana locations in February and on March 1.

“High tunnels – or hoop houses – are unheated and uncooled primitive greenhouse structures that can help market gardeners extend their growing season so that they can improve the profitability of their farms,” said Carl Motsenbocker, an LSU AgCenter horticulturist.

High tunnels are plastic-covered structures used for fruit, flower and vegetable production in many areas of the country, Motsenbocker said. “Their unique design allows growers to extend the growing season for producing crops, giving farmers increased marketing opportunities for their horticulture commodities.”

The workshops are intended for commercial producers interested in or having just built a high tunnel and will provide information needed to select, build and start growing in the structures.

The USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) is available for qualified farms to support the purchase of high tunnels in Louisiana. Chris Coreil of the NRCS will present information on this program for interested growers, extension agents and other professionals who work with growers.

Each of the workshops will begin at 1 p.m. with two- to three-hour classroom-style sessions followed by a visit to a local grower using high tunnels. The programs will end by 5 p.m.

The workshops will be presented by Motsenbocker and Coreil at the following locations:

– Feb. 16 in New Orleans at the Sanchez Multipurpose Center, 1616 Caffin Ave.

– Feb. 18 in Baton Rouge at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden, 4560 Essen Lane.

– Feb. 23 in Alexandria at the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, near LSU of Alexandria off U.S. Highway 71 South.

– Feb 24 in Bossier City at the LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station on U.S. Highway 71 South.

– March 1 in Jennings at the LSU AgCenter Jefferson Davis Parish extension office, 1006 S. Lake Arthur Ave.

The workshops will be presented at no charge, but registration is requested at www.lahightunnelworkshop.eventbrite.com.

More information is available from Motsenbocker at 225-578-1036 or cmotsenbocker@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Rick Bogren
1/27/2016 2:52:40 AM
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