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Statewide conference to look into 'hoop houses' to prolong growing season

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University of Minnesota Extension is leading a 2013 Minnesota Statewide High Tunnel Conference, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 12 and 13, at The Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter.

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High tunnels, also called high hoops or hoop houses, are temporary structures that extend the growing season.

A beginning high tunnel grower workshop with a "Basics of High Tunnel Production" session will be held the morning of the first day, Feb. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to noon for beginning growers and those needing a review. The main conference will start at 12:45 p.m.

Keynote speakers for this year's conference include: Ralph Cramer, a high tunnel consultant from Lancaster, Penn., who will present the topic "High Tunnel Production in Other Countries Around the World," Carol Glenister, entomologist with IPM Laboratories Locke, New York, will present "Living Pest Controls: How to Use Beneficial Insects in High Tunnels to Control Aphids, Spidermites and More" and "Grow Your Own High Tunnel Insects on Banker Plants and Guardian Plants."

Other topics include:

• Minnesota Grower Network- High tunnel disease ID

• Managing the green shoulder complex in high tunnel tomato production

• Tunnels inside high tunnels, a grower research project

• Top 10 production innovations from industry to improve production in high tunnels

• University of Minnesota low tunnel day-Neutral strawberry research

• University of Minnesota apple and tree fruit research in high tunnels

• Using soil substrate production in high tunnel systems

• Research results with fish emulsion in high tunnel production

• Two newly discovered insects that high tunnel growers must be prepared for

• Understanding high tunnel economics

• High tunnel grower problem solving session covering:

- Tomato and vegetable varieties and production tips

- Grapes, flowers, and heirloom tomatoes

For more information or to request a brochure and registration form contact the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, Minn. at (888) 241-0885 or Sue Schuler at schul925@umn.edu, or Terry Nennich at nenni001@umn.edu, or visit the High Tunnel website at http://hightunnels.cfans.umn.edu, or the North Central Research and Outreach Center website at http://ncroc.cfans.umn.edu.

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