High Tunnel Overview

Category: Education

Presentation Description

David Trinklein, MU Professor of Plant Sciences, gives an overview of high tunnel types and construction on January 28, 2013.


Presentation Transcript

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High Tunnel Overview

If this is a tunnel,:

If this is a tunnel , What is a high tunnel?

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A high tunnel is a plant forcing structure that: 1. Uses solar heat (back-up heaters optional). 2. No electricity (fans, heaters, etc.). 3. Vented through sidewalls or end walls. 4. Single layer of plastic. Ground (bed) culture. Drip irrigated. “Poor man’s greenhouse”. University of Missouri High Tunnels, Columbia MO

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University of Missouri High Tunnels, Bradford Cntr . Advantages of High Tunnels: Frost protection +4 F. Extend growing season 2-4 weeks Protection from insects/weather Produce more crops per unit area Produce better quality & increase profits

Disadvantages of High Tunnels:

Disadvantages of High Tunnels Requires frequent temperature monitoring High humidity early in season can lead to increased disease problems Snow accumulation a concern Represents added production cost

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Early season tomatoes bring a premium price.

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Field Tomato Production High Tunnel Tomato Production

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Year-round vegetable production is possible within a high tunnel.

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High tunnel lettuce and salad greens in fall and winter

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Row covers give greater winter protection

Additional High Tunnel Crops:

Additional High Tunnel Crops Cucumbers & melons Strawberries Cut flowers Pepper & eggplant

High Tunnels vs. Greenhouses:

High Tunnels vs. Greenhouses High Tunnels Passive climate control—labor intensive Limited protection from cold temps Simple to build, low initial cost & inexpensive to operate Greenhouses Active climate control—totally automated Maximum protection from cold temps Complex to build, high initial cost & expensive to operate

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Types of High Tunnels

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Quonset style bow (rib) purlin side posts baseboard hip board


Quonset Semi-circle (“quick-set”) with side walls Easy to construct “Inexpensive” Easy to cover (plastic) Most common type high tunnel Snow tends to accumulate on ridge

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Weakest point

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20 FT. WIDE; 96 FT. LONG; 9-12 FT. HT QUONSET-SHAPED 20 ft. width x 9-12 ft. height 39”-60” sidewalls Bows spaced 4-6’ apart (depends on pipe diameter) Quonset Style

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Penny wise—pound foolish

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Ventilation is important

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Ridge Vent Removable panels End wall ventilation

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Gothic Arch Style

Gothic Arch:

Gothic Arch More traditional “greenhouse” shape More useable space, head and growing room Sheds snow/ice better

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PVC High Tunnel

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Moveable High Tunnel

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Multi-bay (Connected) High Tunnels

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Multi-bay interior

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Large high tunnels lose heat at a slower rate. Large high tunnels prevent high humidity levels. Large high tunnels have greater light intensity per sq. ft. Size Considerations

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Large High Tunnels: 20-30’ wide x 96-196’ long

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22’ Large Door for Equipment Access and Ventilation

Part II: High Tunnel Construction :

Part II: High Tunnel Construction

Site Selection:

Site Selection Availability of sunlight Drainage Soil type/history Prevailing winds

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High Tunnel Orientation North – South ? East -- West ? N S W E “Does it make a difference?”

Prevailing Summer Winds:

Prevailing Summer Winds High Tunnel

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Covering Material Quality of light transmission P.A.R. (photosyntheticaly active radiation) I.R. (heat) Longevity Expense (initial vs. long-term) Ease of application

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Polyethylene Plastic

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Shade cloth for summer production

Building Materials:

Building Materials Wood Resistant to decay Redwood Cyprus Treated Paint Cuprinol CCA alternatives

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No coal tar creosote or penta-chlorophenol treated wood

Building Materials:

Building Materials Metal Cold rolled steel pipe Galvanized Minimum 1½ inch diameter 50/55 strength rating Space according to strength

Putting It All Together :

Putting It All Together Pythagoras en.wikipedia.org

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Square the Sides/Ends 30’ wide 60’ long a 2 + b 2 = c 2 a b c

Space and Drive Anchor Stakes:

Space and Drive Anchor Stakes

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Anchor Stakes Completed

Assemble Bows/Ribs:

Assemble Bows/Ribs

Install Bows/Ribs:

Install Bows/Ribs

Attach Purlins:

Attach Purlins purlin

Assemble Trusses (If Needed):

Assemble Trusses (If Needed) cross truss

Install Diagonal (Wind) Bracing:

Install Diagonal (Wind) Bracing

Install Baseboards and Hip Boards:

Install Baseboards and Hip Boards Hip Board (2x6) Baseboard (2x8)

Add Endwalls/Doors/Vents:

Add Endwalls /Doors/Vents

Attach Covering Material:

Attach Covering Material

Finished High Tunnel:

Finished High Tunnel

High Tunnel Summary:

High Tunnel Summary Popular worldwide Widespread and successful in the Midwest Improve yield, quality, and extend the season Higher value and productive crops are favored as choices Almost every vegetable farm tour in Missouri includes a high tunnel

High Tunnel Budget :

High Tunnel Budget Basic kit* (2 3 / 8 ’’ -- 14 gauge galvanized pipe) Frame, braces, purlins , treated-wood end walls, plastic, misc. hardware $7606 Door package 8’ high x 10’ wide (each end) $ 861 Hardware Nails, screws, etc. $ 50 Miscellaneous Not included above $ 150 Water Frost-proof hydrant $ 122 Labor 64 man-hours @$12.00 $ 768 Grand Total $9557 $3.32 / ft. 2 (30’ x 96 w/5’ sidewalls) * Zimmerman brand, FOB Barnett, MO

Resources & Photo Credits::

Resources & Photo Credits: www.hightunnels.org http://extension.missouri.edu/p/M170 Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension Dr. Lewis Jett, West Virginia Univ. Extension Mr. James Quinn, Univ. of Missouri Extension

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David Trinklein Assoc. Prof. Plant Sciences University of Missouri Questions? Useful reference site: www.hightunnels.org

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