Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative
Through the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, NRCS helps Maryland producers extend their growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. A seasonal high tunnel is a polyethylene-covered structure at least six feet high which modifies the climate to create more favorable growing conditions for vegetable and other specialty crops grown in the natural soil beneath it. The initiative has the potential to assist producers in addressing thier resource concerns by improving plant quality, improving soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.
Financial assistance is available for Seasonal High Tunnels covering up to five percent of one acre (2,178 square feet) per farm operation. The size is equal to a structure of approximately 30 feet by 72 feet. Multiple smaller tunnels, or tunnels larger than 2,178 square feet are permitted, but financial assistance is capped at 2,178 square feet. The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative also offers conservation practices that support the seasonal high tunnel practice.
Eligible Conservation Practices
342 Critical Area Planting
412 Grassed Waterway
436 Irrigation Reservoir
441 Irrigation, Micro-irrigation
606 Subsurface Drain
620 Underground Outlet
798 Seasonal High Tunnel
Visit the National Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative website for more information.
NRCS Field Offices, located in the USDA Service Centers in each Maryland county, can provide additional details and program assistance concerning Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative eligibility requirements, practices, and payments.
Mikel Williams Hawkins
Farm Bill Specialist
Assistant State Conservationist- Programs