High Tunnels in New Jersey

High Tunnel Construction

High tunnels are a simple, relatively inexpensive, and effective way of protecting high-value crops from the effects of marginal low temperatures, wind, rain, some insect and foliar disease pests, as well as wildlife damage. [Read more…]

High Tunnel Rotations for Soil Quality

muthshortAdapting annual crop production rotation practices for high tunnels in ways that enable growers to maintain soil fertility and health is not yet completely worked out. There are few well-established rotation recipes, and every grower needs to put in place a rotation plan that works for them, using resources available.
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Excess Farm Indebtedness: Not a Sustainable Practice

“Farmers should not depreciate their soil biological capital, nor their financial capital.”
-A New Jersey Farmer

moneyfallWhen farms fail, causes usually include financial resources, as well as the natural resources that farms depend on, like water and soil. It often goes unrecognized that farm financial resources and natural resources are intimately linked; both contribute to and are required to sustain a healthy farm. Excessive debt and resource degradation are both unsustainable practices. Of the two, resource degradation is widely discussed and investigated. However, historically indebtedness has been our country’s leading cause of agricultural sustainability failure.

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Farm Energy Efficiency

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Farm Energy Audits

Farm energy audits have evolved to become a useful tool  that can improve profitability, conserve resources, and guide transition to renewable energy sources. Performing an audit can vary in scope from looking at a single energy expense to evaluating all energy inputs plus water use, etc. Audits can vary in complexity from self-performed to professionally performed audits using computer simulation. All energy audits should include review and analysis of energy records, a walk-through of the farm facilities characterizing equipment and systems, and identify specific energy conservation opportunities.
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