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High Tunnel Increase Locally Grown Produce

West Virginia Success Story

High Tunnel Increase Locally Grown Produce

Program or Category: Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance Program (AMA).

Overview: Robert and Janice own and operate “J & T Produce” located in the small community of Goodhope, WV. Their farm lies on a terrace along the West Fork River, in southern Harrison County. The Tyler’s have been in vegetable production for over 20 years. Typically, the Tyler’s grow sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers and potatoes. They direct market their crops to area restaurants and individuals. Season extension of vegetable production was a goal of the Tyler’s which will allow for earlier and later crop harvesting dates. In 2011, The Tyler’s participated in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program to address their resource concerns and goals.

Accomplishments: The Tyler’s participated in the EQIP–High Tunnel Pilot Program in 2011. Thru EQIP, they installed a 30 ft by 72 ft high tunnel. Thru AMA, they installed a micro-irrigation system for the crops grown inside their high tunnel. Both projects were completed in July of 2011. The Tyler’s wasted no time in utilizing their high tunnel. Several varieties of hot peppers and two heirloom varieties of tomatoes were planted in July, 2011 for a late season crop. Yields in the fall of 2011 were outstanding. Mr. Tyler stated, “The high tunnel has increased my yield considerably. Yields from both peppers and tomatoes have doubled from previous years in which crops were grown under normal field conditions”. Mr. Tyler also noted that the plant quality and produce quality and quantity were much higher within the high tunnel as compared to previous years. In October, 2011, their farm was the site of the 2011 West Fork Conservation District Agricultural Field Day in which over 75 persons participated and learned from the Tyler’s experiences. The first year of production inside the high tunnel resulted in harvesting tomatoes well into December, 2011.

Program Benefits to Landowner: Benefits to the Tyler’s include increased quality and quantity of vegetable crops. The micro-irrigation system also allowed the Tyler’s to apply the correct amount of moisture for optimum plant growth and health.

Program Benefits to Community: The high tunnel has provided a reduction in soil erosion. The high tunnel has provided an increased amount of locally grown produce that is available for local markets and consumers.


Jeff Griffith, District Conservationist
304-624-9232 x 110
Jeff.Griffith@wv.usda.gov

Mount Clare Service Center-Serving Doddridge and Harrison Counties
Rt. 2, Box 204-D
Mount Clare, WV 26408
Phone 304-624-9232, Fax 304-624-5976

photo of peppers Several varieties of hot peppers were planted in July, 2011 for a late season crop. Pepper yields grown within the high tunnel were doubled from peppers in previous years under normal field conditions.
photo of tomatoes Two heirloom varieties of tomatoes were planted in July, 2011 for a late season crop. Yields of tomatoes within the high tunnel almost doubled from previous years where tomatoes were grown under normal field conditions.