In a 3-year research project at the University of Guelph, High tunnels (and their associated technologies) will be evaluated against traditional field production for season extension & increasing profits for organic production of high-value organic crops (e.g. bitter melon, tomato, pea shoots & pods etc.).
Specific objectives are:
1. Select, evaluate and develop protocols for using high tunnel technologies in harsh Canadian climates including:
a) screens to reduce insect and pathogen pressures
b) shading materials to reduce and diffuse high-intensity, direct light
during summer months,
c) plastic mulch (different colors) and drip tape to reduce weed pressure
and improve nutrient and water use efficiency;
2. Investigate microclimate conditions at different seasons under high tunnels;
3. Determine cost-benefit of using high tunnels in Canadian climates.
A multidisciplary research team is involved in this research project:
- Dr. Youbin Zheng: Greenhouse organic crop production, plant nutrition Mr. Dave Llewellyn: High tunnel infrastructure and plant production Dr. Yun Kong: Vegetable production under controlled environments
- Dr. Rene Van Acker: Weeds management
- Dr. Ralph Martin: Sustainable food production
- Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald: Integrated vegetable crop management Dr. W. David Lubitz: Engineering, microclimate
- Ms. Martha Gay Scroggins: GCUOF co-ordinator
- Mr. Evan Elford: New Crop Development Specialist (OMAFRA)
Six high tunnels are installed at the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic farming (GCUOF).
This project is supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Organic Cluster Research Program and managed by Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada. They thank De Cloet Greenhouse Manufacturing Ltd. for adapting their commercial tunnel technology to a research application & ongoing technical support.
For more information
1805 Charlotteville West Qtr. Line
Simcoe, ON N3Y 4J9
Phone: 519-582-3081 Ext. 213
Toll Free: 888-786-4769