Kansas Rural Center Releases Growing Under Cover: A Kansas Grower’s Guide
Growing Under Cover: A Kansas Grower’s Guide is now available from the Kansas Rural Center (KRC) to assist specialty crop growers in Kansas. The guide is written by Tom Buller, KRC Specialty Crop Projects Program Director; Dr. Cary Rivard, Kansas State University Fruit and Vegetable Extension Specialist; and Kim Oxley, Kansas State University Research Extension Associate.
Growing Under Cover: A Kansas Grower’s Guide, provides success stories from Kansas farmers who use high tunnels on their farms, general management strategies, and specific cropping advice for some of the most successful crops grown in high tunnels in Kansas. The farmers profiled from around the state are Chris and Christi Janssen of C and C High Tunnels, Scandia, KS; Brice Wiswell, of Gieringer’s Orchard, Edgerton, KS; Todd Griggs, Griggs Bros. Farms, Augusta, KS; Jay Schleicter, Jay’s Jellies, Produce and More, Clay Center, KS; and Jill Elmers of Moon on the Meadow, Lawrence, KS.
The guide also features crop specific management advice tailored to Kansas and sample crop enterprise budgets for tomatoes, head lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers, leafy greens and root crops.
The development of the guide was funded by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through grant number 15-SCBG- KS-0031. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA. The SCBG is overseen by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The goal of the program is to boost the production of specialty crops in the state of Kansas.
Specialty crops, including fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and nursery crops, present a growth opportunity for Kansas agriculture. The vast majority of the fruits and vegetables consumed in Kansas are currently imported, while demand for local food is high. To help address this unmet demand, high tunnels can be a valuable tool that allow growers to extend the growing season and can dramatically increase yield and income per acre.
Growing Under Cover: A Kansas Grower’s Guide is great resource for growers who are looking to start growing in high tunnels, as well as those who already have a high tunnel and seek to optimize its use. The guide will also provide a foundation for growers seeking to understand the management practices and economics of producing various crops within high tunnels. It is a companion to KRC’s first high tunnel guide, Growing Under Cover: A Guide to Polytunnel Options for Kansas Growers.
Growing Under Cover: A Kansas Grower’s Guide is currently available for viewing or free download at https://kansasruralcenter.org/growing-under-cover-2-is-here/.