Williston Research Extension Center


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High Tunnel Production

High tunnel 2016


Funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant through the North Dakota Department of Ag, allowed WREC to purchase and build a 26’x96’ Rimol high tunnel for cut flower and vegetable research. This grant award is a collaborative effort between NDSU, WREC and Dakota College at Bottineau. The goals of this research endeavor were to identify high-yielding traditional and non-traditional crops for production in North Dakota high tunnels for each of the three locations so that growers near these locations can determine when to plant and what pest management issues to expect. A second goal was to develop a communication center for ND high tunnel growers. A Facebook page titled North Dakota High Tunnels has been set up for anyone interested in seeing the progress of this project, reading about high tunnel production, or posting their own inquiries. https://www.facebook.com/groups/NDHighTunnels/.  A listserv through NDSU has also been set up for those who would like more information. To subscribe, please contact Kyla Splichal (kyla.splichal@ndsu.edu).

The crops that were chosen as traditional were tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. The non-traditional crops in this trial were cut flowers for the fresh market. Two varieties of dahlia, three varieties of lisianthus, two varieties of snapdragon and two varieties of delphinium were selected to be studied in two trial locations-one inside the high tunnel and one adjacent to the high tunnel in a field. There were nine varieties each of slicing tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers.

The trial at WREC was planted at the end of May and beginning of June. It began producing around July 5th and continued into the fall. The bell peppers produced until November 22nd with about 180 pounds from the high tunnel alone. The tomatoes from the high tunnel produced 325 pounds until November 10th. The cucumbers began producing later in July and went until around Labor Day when disease pressure became too high. Approximately 625 pounds of cucumbers were harvested during that time. Three of the cultivars were pickling cucumbers, the rest were slicing.    

Karma Dahlia

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