Project Activities

Advisory Panel

A panel of stakeholders make recommendations for research design, data collection, project outreach, on-farm trials, mobilizing growers, and future experiments.

Advisory Panel Meeting Reports:

Research Assessments

Farmers and agricultural service providers evaluate the research design, treatments, and data collection and identify benefits and limitations of our research.

  • the participants are told what treatments are being tested but they do not know which treatment is in each plot
  • participants observe the field research plots and record their observations about plant vigor, weed suppression, pest damage, disease damage, etc.
  • participants then engage in a facilitated discussion as a group and identify the most desirable and least desirable treatments observed
  • participants then make recommendations for future experiments after the plot/treatment key is revealed

Research Assessment Reports:

Project Videos

Watch videos about our project HERE.

On-Farm Trials

Our objective is to further understand the occurrence and pattern of disease and pest pressure that occurs in organically managed high tunnels in Florida during the cool season cropping period.

  • We will conduct three on-farm trials in Florida from October 2021 through May 2022.
  • We will collect pest data through the use of passive trapping (sticky cards).
  • We will collect disease data through collection of plant tissues (fruit, foliage, or roots) that appear to be diseased.
  • We will learn about the farmer’s high tunnel management practices affecting pest and disease pressure.

Publications

Laur, S., Donovan, M., Diaz-Perez, J. C., and Coolong, T. (2021) Extending the Growing Season for Lettuce in Georgia: Using Shade Cloth and High Tunnels. UGA Extension Circular 1241. https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C1241

Presentations

Donovan, M., Swisher, M. E., Coolong, T., and Zhao, X. (Abstract accepted, 2021) Virtual High Tunnel Organic Tomato Variety Assessment. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences (virtual).

Donovan, M., Swisher, M. E., Sattanno, K., and Zhao, X. (2021) Engaging Growers and Agricultural Service Providers in a Diverse Advisory Panel on Organic High Tunnel Research. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Florida State Horticultural Society. Daytona Beach, FL.

Donovan, M., Swisher, M. E., Sattanno, K., and Zhao, X. (2021) Grower Assessment of Organic Tomato Nutrient Management Factors in a High Tunnel. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (virtual). Denver, CO.

Legaspi, J. C. (2021) “Push-pull” strategy and beyond. Class Presentation at the University of Florida (virtual). Gainesville, FL.

Coolong, T., Laur, S., Cassity-Duffey, K., and Cabrera, M. (2020) Evaluating nitrogen mineralization from cover crops grown in high tunnels. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (virtual). Orlando, FL.

Legaspi, J. C. (2020) Sustainable management of insect pests: plant-mediated “push-pull” technology. Class Presentation at the University of Florida (virtual). Gainesville, FL.

Legaspi, J. C., Bolques, A., Ospina, F., Tanner, L., Perez-Cordero, L., Johnson, J., Janeau, J., Miller, N., and Edwards, M. (2020) Dual strategy “push-pull” technology and companion planting. Center for Biological Control – FAMU advisory committee annual meeting – Highlights of research, extension, and outreach activities (virtual). Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL.

Diaz-Perez, J.C., Coolong, T., and Bautista, J. (2020) Planting date affects leaf mineral nutrients and plant weight in organic lettuce grown in high tunnels. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (virtual). Orlando, FL.

Donovan, M., Swisher, M. E., Sattanno, K., and Zhao, X. (2020) Nutrient Management in High Tunnels: Grower Perspectives on Experimental Design. Poster Presentation at the Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources. Gainesville, FL. 2020 BANR Organic High Tunnel Poster

Donovan, M., Swisher, M. E., Sattanno, K., and Zhao, X. (2020) Nutrient Management Regime Assessment of Organic Tomatoes Raised in a High Tunnel. Poster Presentation at the Annual Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference. Little Rock, AR. 2020 SSAWG Organic High Tunnel Poster

Donovan, M., Swisher, M. E., Sattanno, K., and Zhao, X. (2020) Nutrient Management Regime Grower Assessment of Organic Pak Choi in a High Tunnel. Poster Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (virtual). Orlando, FL. 2020 ASHS Organic High Tunnel Poster

Tian, S., Zhao, X., and Black, Z. (2020) Effects of integrated nutrient management on high tunnel organic vegetable production. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (virtual). Orlando, FL.

Tian, S., Zhao, X., and Brecht, J. (2020) Quality attributes of pac choi and baby lettuce under high tunnel organic production as affected by nutrient management practices. Presentation at the American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference (virtual). Orlando, FL.

Zhao, X., Frey, C.J., Brecht, J.K., and Tian, S. (2020) Integrated high tunnel systems for improving organic vegetable production. Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. Hershey, PA.

Zhao, X., Swisher, M.E., Dufault, N.S., Hodges, A.C., Gao, Z., Bolques, A., Legaspi, J.C., Coolong, T., and Diaz-Perez, J.C. (2020) An integrated multi-institutional project to promote high tunnel organic vegetable production in the Southeast. Presentation at the American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference (virtual). Orlando, FL.

Laur, S. and Coolong, T. (2019) Impact of shade cloth and a fogging system on microclimate in an organic high tunnel. Conference Presentation at Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference. Birmingham, AL.

Laur, S. and Coolong, T. (2019) The effects of microclimate modifications on crop yield and quality in organic high tunnels. Conference Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences. Las Vegas, NV.

Legaspi, J. C. (2019) Organic agriculture research in protected structures. Center of Biological Control Newsletter. Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL. FAMU Center of Biological Control Newsletter

Legaspi, J. C., Bolques, A., and Ospina, F. (2019) “Push-pull” studies in vegetables in enclosed structures. Center for Biological Control – FAMU advisory committee annual meeting – Highlights of research, extension, and outreach activities. Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL.

Tian, S., Zhao, X., and Black, Z. (2019) Effects of Leguminous Cover Crop, Compost, and Organic Fertilizer on High Tunnel Organic Production of Pac Choi and Spinach. Oral Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences. Las Vegas, NV.

Zhao, X. (2019) Addressing challenges of high tunnel organic vegetable production in subtropical Florida. Workshop on multiregional assessment of opportunities and challenges of high tunnel organic crop. American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference Las Vegas, NV.

Zhao, X. and Frey, C. (2018) Growing organic spinach: A research update. Conference Presentation at Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Savannah, GA.

Zhao, X. and Frey, C. (2018) Organic tomato production: A comparison between high tunnel and open field systems. Conference Presentation at Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference. Savannah, GA.

Progress Report

View the annual progress report HERE.

This work is supported by Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative grant no. 2017-51300-26813 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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