Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Minnesota Statewide High Tunnel Conference in Baxter, MN

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (1/15/2015)—University of Minnesota Extension is leading a 2015 Minnesota Statewide High Tunnel Conference, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, February 17 and 18, at The Arrowwood Lodge At Brainerd Lakes, Baxter, MN. High tunnels (HT), also called hoop houses, are temporary structures that extend the growing season.

A Beginning High Tunnel Grower Workshop with a “Basics of High Tunnel Production” session will be held the morning of the first day, Tuesday, February 17, from 8:00 a.m. to noon for beginning growers and those needing a review. The main conference will begin at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday and run through Wednesday afternoon, February 18.

Keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Steve Bogash, Penn State Extension Educator. Steve will present four different topics:
  • Advances in HT Tomato Production: Techniques, Varieties, Nutrition, and Pest Management
  • Mechanization of Ventilation in HT
  • Advances in HT Bell Pepper Production
  • Advances in HT Cucumber Production: Techniques, Varieties, Nutrition, and Pest Management.
In addition to the keynote topics, main conference topics include:
  • Understanding Spider Mites and Other HT Insects
  • Fruit Production in HT
  • Oxygen Drip Tape Injection Research
  • Understanding Your HT Irrigation Water: Putting It Into Your Total Plan
  • Do Colored Ground Plastics Make a Difference in HT Production?
  • Effective Pest Scouting and Control Methods, and HT Sprayer Technology
  • Current University of Minnesota Research with HT Tomato, Pepper, Eggplant Diseases
  • Understanding HT Ventilation in Detail
  • Current University of Minnesota Research with Winter Production in HT
  • Cover Crops in HT

A new feature this year will be irrigation water testing. Participating growers are encouraged to bring a sample of their irrigation water with them to the conference for free analysis. Water samples (one cup per well; one cup per container) can be placed in a clean self-sealing bag or clean container with lid. One self-sealing bag inside of another works well. Bring samples to day one of the conference.

For more information or to request a brochure and registration form contact Sue Schuler at the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, MN at 218-327-5958 (ext. 3001) or; or visit the High Tunnel website at