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EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

2013 EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative
 

Seasonal High Tunnel System for Crops Seasonal High Tunnel System for Crops

2013 Seasonal High Tunnel System for Crops

Interim Conservation Practice 798

NRCS is currently accepting applications.  the next evaluation period ends on December 21, 2012.  Depending on fund availability fund demand another evaluation period may be offered for FY 2012.

Seasonal high tunnels are structures made of plastic or metal pipe and covered with plastic or other sheeting. Easy to build, maintain, and move, they provide an energy-efficient way to extend the growing season, reduce or avoid use of pesticides and reduce run off and leaching of nitrogen. Unlike greenhouses, they require no energy, relying on natural sunlight to modify the climate inside to create favorable conditions for growing vegetable and other specialty crops.

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing financial assistance for seasonal high tunnels as part of a three-year trial to determine their effectiveness in conserving water, reducing pesticide use, maintaining vital soil nutrients, and increasing crop yields.

 

Technical and Financial Assistance

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative signup, Agricultural producers may apply for financial assistance and technical expertise to plan and install Seasonal High Tunnels and other conservation practices that will facilitate in addressing a resource concern.

 

2013 EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Practice Payment Lists

  • TBA - (Not available yet)

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, applicants must be a farmer who earns a minimum agricultural income and meet other EQIP program requirements. For more detailed information, go to: EQIP Eligibility

Eligible lands for the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative apply only to existing cropland.

 

Practice Requirements

The practice is intended to extend the growing season early and late in the growing year and be moveable at the end of the growing season.

The maximum size of the seasonal high tunnel funded by the Initiative is limited to 2178 sq. ft.

The practice must be sited on existing cropland that has an active crop production history.

The crops grown within the seasonal high tunnel must be planted directly into the soil covered by the seasonal high tunnel. The use of pots, growing racks or hydroponics is not eligible.

The seasonal high tunnel system must be constructed in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. The frame for the seasonal high tunnel must be constructed of metal, wood, or durable plastic and be at least 6 feet high at the center, structure cover at a minimum will be made of 6-mil greenhouse-grade, UV resistant polyethylene and will not include electrical, heating or ventilation system. Expected life span of the seasonal high tunnel is a minimum of 4 years. See practice jobsheet (coming soon).

How to Apply

Application for the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative can be obtained at your local NRCS office. NRCS can also assist the applicant by developing a conservation plan that includes conservation activities and practices that address resource problems while improving farming operation on their land.

Funding Selection and Priorities

The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is a national initiative. Funding and selection of applications will be determined at the NRCS National level. Applications will be accepted at any time with ranking of applications as listed above.

Ranking Criteria

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For More Information

National NRCS Seasonal High-Tunnel web page

Contacts

Please contact the District Conservationist in the USDA Service Center nearest the location of your property.

Michael Neubeiser
State Program Manager
(505) 761-4419
E-mail: Michael.Neubeiser@nm.usda.gov