February 3, 2009

Use before February 20, 2009
Contact: Amy Ivy, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County, 518-561-7450

Feb. 26-27 High Tunnel Conference Responds to Grower Demand for Info

A growing sector of New York agriculture is the use of high tunnel greenhouse-type structures to start crops earlier, harvest later in the year, and improve yield and quality of fruits, vegetables and flowers. A February 26-27 High Tunnel Production in Northern New York conference event at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake will feature growers from NNY and across the state, Cornell University researchers and Cornell Cooperative Extension fruit and vegetable specialists.

“This conference builds on the excitement and success of last year’s high tunnel event. To meet grower demand for more information on how to use high tunnels, we have added grower-to-grower networking, panel discussions and breakout sessions for both beginning and experience high tunnel growers,” says conference organizer Amy Ivy, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County.

The 9am to 5pm program on Thursday, February 26th features presentations on:
• Crop possibilities for high tunnel production
• Beginner and experienced sessions on getting started and production plans
• Soil fertility and irrigation
• Tomatoes: training, trellising, grafting, heirloom varieties, troubleshooting.

The 7am to 2pm agenda for Friday, February 27th includes:
• The pros and cons of various high tunnel structures and coverings
• Ventilation and automatic openers
• Heating the soil to hasten growth
• Simplified recordkeeping
• Crops discussion: berries, cut flowers, greens, melons and peppers

Registration is $75 for both days, $50 for a single day, and includes lunch, snacks, and Friday breakfast. Register by February 20 with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County at 518-561-7450.

The New York Farm Viability Institute and Northern New York Agricultural Development Program have provided support for this conference. High tunnel production resources are found on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.  # # #