Cover photo for EQIP High Tunnel System Initiative

EQIP High Tunnel System Initiative

Natural Resources Conservation Service

About

A High Tunnel System, commonly called a “hoop house,” is an increasingly popular conservation practice for farmers, and is available with financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). With high tunnel systems, no summer is too short or winter too cold because high tunnels:

  • Extend the growing season

  • Improve plant quality and soil quality

  • Reduce nutrient and pesticide transportation

  • Improve air quality through reduced transportation inputs

  • Reduce energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce

High tunnels protect plants from severe weather and allow farmers to extend their growing seasons – growing earlier into the spring, later into the fall, and sometimes, year-round. And because high tunnels prevent direct rainfall from reaching plants, farmers can use precise tools like drip irrigation to efficiently deliver water and nutrients to plants. High tunnels also offer farmers a greater ability to control pests and can even protect plants from pollen and pesticide drift.

A number of soil health practices can be used in high tunnels, including cover crops and crop rotations, which also prevent erosion, suppress weeds, increase soil water content, and break pest cycles.

Perhaps the best thing about high tunnels is that they help farmers provide their communities with healthy local food for much of the year – food that requires less energy and transportation inputs.

Eligibility

In addition to implementing high tunnel practices outlined with your local NRCS office, producers must meet all other eligibility requirements associated with EQIP.

Terms

Supporting practices may be needed to ensure that resource concerns associated with implementing and managing high tunnel systems are addressed. These conservation practices may include:

  • Critical Area Planting

  • Diversion Grassed Waterway

  • Mulching

  • Irrigation System, Micro-irrigation

  • Subsurface Drain

  • Surface Drainage, Field Ditch

  • Underground Outlet

Resources

Similar Programs

Details

Organization

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Financial Instrument

Grant, Cost Share

Image Credit

NRCS Oregon

Updated July 16, 2021

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.