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High Tunnel System Initiative

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High tunnels for crops are quickly becoming part of the Texas agricultural production landscape. Through NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, Texas has provided upwards of $2 million in financial assistance to help eligible producers build high tunnels across the state. High tunnels are an enclosed polyethylene, polycarbonate, plastic, or fabric covered structure that is used to cover and protect crops from sun, wind, excessive rainfall, or cold and can extend a growing season in an environmentally safe manner.

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Fact sheet

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Click on each title above to view high tunnel related videos on our YouTube channel. 

www.youtube.com/user/usdanrcstexas
 

For more information

Contacts:

Kristy Oates, State Resource Conservationist
254.742.9805

Mark Habiger, Assistant State Conservationist-Programs
254.742.9881

Purpose

High tunnels help:

  • Improve plant health and vigor
  • Maintain or improve soil health
  • Extend the growing season
  • Improve plant quality and soil quality
  • Reduce nutrient and pesticide transportation
  • Improve air quality through reduced transportation inputs
  • Reduce energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce

Supporting conservation practices

  • Conservation Crop Rotation
  • Cover Crop
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Diversion Integrated Pest Management
  • Irrigation Water Management
  • Mulching
  • Roof Runoff Structure
  • Nutrient Management
  • Underground Outlet
  • Heavy Use Protection

Who can apply

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to individuals, legal entities, Native American Tribes, or joint operations engaged in agricultural production. NRCS accepts and processes EQIP applications on a continuous basis. Producers must submit a complete program application and other documentation to support eligibility to be considered for financial assistance through EQIP.

Cliff Kinnibrugh, NRCS Conservation Agronomist San Angelo Zone Office

Cliff Kinnibrugh,
NRCS Conservation Agronomist, San Angelo Zone Office

Transcription (PDF; 20 KB)

The benefits of high tunnels are listed.

The differences between a high tunnel and a greenhouse are explained.

Site selection is key to a successful high tunnel.

The distance between high tunnels is explained.

Soils are important to a successful high tunnel system.

Ventilation and wind direction are key elements as to where to place a high tunnel.

The two types of high tunnels are discussed.

Requirements for funding under EQIP are given.