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NRCS Approved High Tunnel

The NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Approved High Tunnel is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's efforts to assist farmers in extending the growing season, improving plant quality and soil quality, and reducing nutrient and pesticide transportation. High tunnels, also known as hoop houses, are structures made of metal framing and plastic covering. They function similarly to greenhouses but are generally less expensive and easier to construct.

Farmers can use high tunnels to grow various crops, including vegetables, fruits, and flowers. The NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to producers to implement high tunnels as part of a conservation plan. This program is particularly beneficial for enhancing plant growth, extending the growing season, and increasing local food production while minimizing environmental impact.

If you're considering applying for a high tunnel system through the NRCS, you'll need to follow specific guidelines and meet the agency's standards to qualify for funding. This typically includes demonstrating how the high tunnel will improve sustainable agricultural practices on your farm.

Gothic Arch Greenhouses participates in the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which offers financial assistance to qualified growers for these greenhouse structures. This program is administered through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and is offered in all 50 states.


NRCS Approved High Tunnel Benefits:

  • Extended Growing Season: High tunnels can help farmers start planting earlier in the spring and extend the harvest season into the fall or winter.
  • Improved Plant Quality: By providing a controlled environment, high tunnels can lead to healthier plants and higher yields.
  • Pest and Disease Management: High tunnels can reduce the incidence of pests and diseases by creating a barrier and allowing for better management of environmental conditions.
  • Water Conservation: These structures can help conserve water by reducing evaporation and allowing for more efficient irrigation practices.

NRCS Approved High Tunnel Structures: Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture

NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) approved high tunnel structures are an essential component in enhancing sustainable agriculture. These structures, also known as hoop houses or polytunnels, are designed to extend the growing season, improve plant and soil quality, and minimize the use of chemical inputs. Here’s a closer look at how NRCS-approved high tunnels contribute to sustainable agricultural practices:

  1. Eligibility: Farmers and agricultural producers who are looking to extend their growing seasons can apply for financial assistance through the NRCS. The program is often part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

  2. Standards and Specifications: High tunnels must meet certain criteria to be eligible for NRCS funding. These include being used primarily for in-ground plant production, having a minimum size requirement, and being constructed using materials that are durable and able to withstand local weather conditions.

  3. Funding: The NRCS provides cost-sharing opportunities to assist with the installation of high tunnels. The amount of financial assistance can vary based on factors like location, the type of crops grown, and the specific needs of the farming operation.

  4. Application Process:

    • Contact NRCS: Interested producers should contact their local NRCS office to discuss their interest in the High Tunnel System Initiative and learn about the application process.
    • Assessment and Planning: An NRCS representative will typically visit the farm to assess the site and discuss the specific needs and goals of the producer.
    • Application Submission: Producers will need to submit an application, which includes detailed information about their farming operation and the proposed high tunnel system.
    • Approval and Implementation: Once approved, producers can receive technical and financial assistance to install the high tunnel.

For more detailed information and to start the application process, producers should reach out to their local NRCS office or visit the NRCS website.


USDA NRCS High Tunnel Program

Gothic Arch Greenhouses works with the USDA’s NRCS High Tunnel Initiative to provide greenhouses that help producers make conservation work for them. The goal of this program is to conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations.

The EQIP program provides grants to implement conservation practices to encourage farming practices that can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil, and better wildlife habitats. Follow this link for NRCS EQIP Grant Application Information by State

Each State's EQIP page includes application ranking criteria, priority resource concerns, lists of eligible practices, payment rates, information about where you can submit applications, eligibility requirements, and other program requirements.

Gothic Arch Greenhouses offer many styles and price points in our Cold Frame and High Tunnel greenhouse line. The many covering options and accessory packages available will take your production to the next level, and with quick delivery, installation options, top-quality greenhouse supplies, and expert technical support, these structures are a solid choice for the serious grower. We stock extra tall high tunnels, multi-bay high tunnels, high tunnels spanning extra-large widths, and many other specialty commercial tunnels and cold frames. Take a look at our selection today to see why Gothic Arch Greenhouses is the most trusted name in commercial high tunnel greenhouses since 1946. Call one of our experts today at 1-800-531-4769.