GAPs Online Training now offered in Spanish

The OSU Extension Produce Safety Team has designed a self-paced online training for Good Agricultural Practices, which helps reduce the risk of produce contamination.

This self-paced online course provides hydroponic growers with the knowledge and tools needed to implement best management practices specific to controlled environments (greenhouses, in-door farms, high tunnels, etc.) to reduce microbial food safety hazards in hydroponic vegetable and fruit production systems.

• Participants will receive a certificate of participation after completing this course.

• The cost of the course is $150.

The quick link is:

Flyer: OnlineHYDROPONICGAPs-Spanish Flyer 020524


Este curso en línea sobre Buenas Prácticas Agrícolas, o ‘BPA’, para la producción hidropónica ayuda a reducir el riesgo de contaminación en frutas y vegetales.

Este curso en línea de autoaprendizaje proporciona a los productores de cultivos hidropónicos el conocimiento y herramientas necesarias para implementar buenas prácticas de manejo específicas de ambientes controlados (invernaderos, agricultural vertical, túneles altos, etc.) para reducir los riesgos microbianos de sistemas de producción hidropónica en frutas y vegetales frescos.
• Los estudiantes recibirán una certificación de participación después de haber completado el curso.
• El valor del curso es de $150.

Para registrarte al curso dirígete a
Para preguntas, contactar a Melanie Ivey por o Sanja Ilic por


High Tunnel Crop and Market Period Diversity

High tunnel use is very popular and has been increasing in Ohio and many other states for decades. Growers are now asking new questions partly because high tunnel production is so popular and increasing and has been practiced for so long on some farms, creating new challenges and opportunities.

“How can I utilize my high tunnel(s) more effectively year-round or fall through spring?” is one very frequently asked question. Many agree that spring-fall tomato harvests can offer the greatest revenue or profit potential. However, others have shown or are learning that harvesting other crops from their high tunnel(s) during summer and/or fall through spring can also be lucrative and beneficial in other ways. Many examples of this have been shared in recent Extension and other programs in Ohio and neighboring states. Working with multiple crops across more of or the entire year requires being familiar with conditions affecting their growth, quality, and potential costs of production and market (profit) potential. Labor and other input costs and how one figures costs of production are obvious factors. For example, one grower-speaker at a recent conference recently described high tunnel space on their farm as “rented,” meaning that their costs of production include how much time is required for a crop to be market-ready. This approach (calculation) directs them and, possibly, others: a) to include lower-cost, quicker-cycling, high value crops in their systems, and b) to be selective when devoting space to high value crops demanding more space, time, and labor. For some, producing multiple crops, managing their investments in crops prone to boom-bust supply-price cycles, and accessing markets through most of or the entire is key to their business. They describe how the approach can limit risk and increase opportunity.

As described in our Feb-3 VegNet article, we seeded Mokum carrot, Red Russian kale, Oriole Swiss chard, Red Pac pac choi, and Music garlic in early Oct-2023 and have given them “minimal” care since that time. Our goal was to discover/demonstrate the potential yield and quality of these crops when grown and overwintered in this way, although the kale, Swiss chard, and pac choi were appropriate for some markets in December-January. This approach may interest growers unfamiliar with and/or currently lacking the ability to make large investments in fall through spring production-harvesting. Recent samples taken from the carrot seedings demonstrate that growth is accelerating and roots are likely to be market-ready soon. A large number of other edible and non-edible crops can be overwintered and/or harvested successfully fall-through spring in Ohio.

Please contact Matt Kleinhenz (330.263.3810; for more information.


A Minimalist Approach to Ensuring Fall through Spring Vegetable Harvests

Interest in marketing locally-grown, freshly-harvested vegetables fall through spring is strong and increasing among high tunnel growers in the Midwest, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South, and Northeast. Scanning the agendas of industry meetings and listening to growers and others in these areas makes clear that fall through spring harvest and marketing of high tunnel-grown crops is an established and increasingly common practice. Importantly, some growers have transitioned to cash cropping their high tunnels only fall through spring and leaving summer to grow cover crops and focus on other priorities, including field-based production. Conversations with and public presentations by these growers and other experts make clear that fall through spring income from high tunnel production can be significant if the correct crops and varieties are chosen and suitable practices are used.

We have long wondered which crops, varieties, and practices may be ideal for Ohio high tunnel growers looking to harvest fall through spring. Much of our previous research focused on a relatively small number of crops and the use of various tools and practices (e.g., films, fabrics, and/or soil heating). Our goal was to describe potential production outcomes when high tunnel growers invested in the process to various levels. Results from those experiments suggest that yields are likely to be greatest when investments are also highest, for example, when soil heating, plastic films, and row covers and the effort to maximize their utility are used. Those studies were summarized previously in this blog.

We are asking a different question in Winter 2023-2024. As the three panels below describe, seven crops were seeded in two high tunnels in October-2023 and grown without any supplemental heating, films, or row covers. This “minimalist” approach explores the worst-case scenario, the minimum that can be expected from these crops under the conditions they have experienced since seeding. This approach may appeal to growers unfamiliar with fall through spring production and/or those who are unwilling or unable to invest much time, money, or effort in it, at least at this time. The test outlined below is one example of what can be expected but many others exist. Of course, different outcomes may be possible when other varieties, planting dates, and growing practices are used. Upcoming evaluations will push the “minimalist” approach further as all crops capable of being grown and harvested fall through spring do not require a high tunnel. Please contact me (Matt Kleinhenz, 330.263.3810, if you would like more information.


SH2 Sweet Corn Trial Reports

MikeGastier, Ohio State University Extension, Huron County, Ohio
Bob Shaw and Frank Thayer, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Fremont, Ohio

Sweet corn is an important crop in both the fresh market and shipping market in North Central Ohio, where a
significant percentage of Ohio vegetables are grown. Many different varieties of sweet corn are grown by
producers with fresh market roadside stands, and still others are grown for early, mid, and late season shipping
and processing markets, meaning growers demand a diverse selection of sweet corn varieties and maturities.
Growers have indicated this diversity should focus on SH2 varieties with different stages of maturity, and
variance in other traits. Many new varieties are becoming available to meet these grower demands, and this
study sought to determine which ones would perform acceptably in Northern Ohio, and which would have the
desired traits growers are seeking. For this trial, 25 SH2 varieties were grown in 4 replicated plots at the Ohio
State University’s North Central Agricultural Research Station near Fremont, Ohio.

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