Tomatoes are an integral part of many farms in North and South Carolina. Although field production of tomatoes is common, there are many benefits of growing tomatoes in high tunnels including higher marketable yields, lower disease pressure and season extension. To achieve these benefits, proper and efficient production methods must be used. Some production details to consider include variety selection, planting dates, bed preparation, irrigation, and harvest methods. To learn more about these and other aspects of high tunnel tomato production please download our Seasonal High Tunnel Production: Organic Tomato Guide.
Also check out our High Tunnel Consulting.
A Practical Guide to Understanding and Implementing Micro-irrigation in High Tunnels
High tunnels can be a great resource for farmers. The season extension capabilities provided by high tunnels can open up new opportunities and price premiums in the local marketplace. However, producing in high tunnels is different from field production and can be difficult to master.
For many growers, the annual costs associated with certification can be a major deterrent. However, financial assistance is available through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program to cover up to 75% of certification costs up to $750. This federal program is administered by each state’s Department of Agriculture, is non-competitive and offered on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted. Fill out the paperwork and get reimbursed!
Are you interested in learning more about the USDA NOP organic certification process? If so, take a walk on the Road to Organic Certification and watch how Candice Howard successfully certifies her sustainable farm and how Bruce Baxter successfully transitions his farm to certified organic.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is a virus that infects fowl. It is so virulent that it moves quickly between birds and can kill an entire flock in just a few days. Wild birds, domestic poultry, and other animals carry the virus. HPAI is currently considered a seasonal threat, thought to be transmitted from wild waterfowl to domestic poultry as wild birds travel for seasonal migration. Wild bird migration patterns and lower fall temperatures make it very likely that wild birds from recently infected areas in Canada will travel south through the Atlantic flyway through North and South Carolina this fall. Due to the seasonality and severity of the risk, the NCDA canceled all live bird shows and sales between August 15, 2015 and January 15, 2016. This strain of the disease does not infect humans or other livestock.
Many chicken and turkey flocks, pastured and conventional, across the Northwest and Midwest were decimated by the rapid spread of the disease during the spring and early summer of 2015. Coordinated emergency response to the disease by the government has been key to reducing the number of infected birds and reducing farmers’ losses of livestock.
CFSA’s Q&A on HPAI with the NC State Vet, Dr. Meckes
Since December 2014, a number of chicken and turkey flocks, both pastured and conventional, in the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest were infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). HPAI is a virus that infects fowl, killing entire flocks in a matter of days. The virus is transmitted by migrating waterfowl, meaning that farms may be infected seasonally during times of bird migration.