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EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative

High Tunnel Overview

A High Tunnel System, commonly called a “hoop house,” is an increasingly popular conservation practice for farmers, and is available with financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  

  • Extend the growing season
  • Improve plant quality and soil quality
  • Reduce nutrient and pesticide transportation
  • Reduce energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce

High tunnels protect plants from severe weather and allow farmers to extend their growing seasons – growing crops earlier into the spring, keeping them cool into the summer, and protecting them through the winter. And because high tunnels prevent direct rainfall from reaching plants, farmers can use precise tools like drip irrigation to efficiently deliver water and nutrients to plants. High tunnels also offer farmers a greater ability to control pests and can even protect plants from pollen and pesticide drift.

A number of soil health practices can be used in high tunnels, including cover crops and crop rotations, which also prevent erosion, suppress weeds, increase soil water content, and break pest cycles.

Check out the high tunnel topic to learn more. 

High Tunnel Supporting Practices header


Supporting practices may be needed to ensure that resource concerns associated with implementing and managing high tunnel systems are addressed. These conservation practices may include:

  • Critical Area Planting
  • Diversion Grassed Waterway
  • Mulching
  • Irrigation System, Micro-irrigation
  • Subsurface Drain
  • Surface Drainage, Field Ditch
  • Underground Outlet

Ready to make a high tunnel system part of your operation?  Check out Apply for EQIP.

For more information contact your local USDA Service Center.