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Low, Quick, and Caterpillar Tunnels: An Overview of Season Extension Techniques

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 24, 2013

Low, Quick, and Caterpillar Tunnels: An Overview of Season Extension Techniques
Season extension offers growers expanded times for growing produce. Getting an early jump or holding crops later into the sales season can really increase profits when the techniques are used and costs taken into account.

There are many styles and types of construction available on the internet. The ones mentioned in this presentation cover what is commonly available. Many suppliers carry hoop materials, row covers, and greenhouse film. Ingenuity and imagination creates more effective ways of set up and operation.

The caterpillar example in this presentation is based on low-cost materials. The tunnel is not recommended for handling snow loads. One problem found with it is that rain water can pool pockets of the greenhouse film between the cord/rope. This would require daily observations to push the water out so as not to cause bending of the hoops. Use of the tunnel should be for the extension of the season or getting an earlier start of the season making it easier to work inside. In order for the tunnel to stand up to the winter, daily maintenance is required.

A heavy duty version of the caterpillar tunnel is shown in another presentation listed on this website. It uses chain link fence poles and offers year-round operation with the stronger construction.

Additional resources that may be helpful to you:
Resources and Supplies for Tunnel Construction (PDF; 196KB)

Diggin' Tunnels: Low, Quick, and Caterpillar Tunnels for Season Extension (pdf; 2108KB)

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JOB POSTING: Onion Crop Scout

Be a Vital Part of New York Onion Production!

We are looking for someone who appreciates agriculture to scout commercial onion fields in Oswego Co. and/or Wayne Co. for 13 weeks during the summer, maximum 19 hours/week, who would return to the seasonal position annually.

As an Onion Crop Scout for the Cornell Vegetable Program (CVP), you will independently scout 11 commercial onion fields collecting data on insect pests, diseases, weeds and crop stage/quality. Scouting data will be summarized into a preliminary report which is finalized by Cornell's Onion Specialist. Growers use the scouting reports to inform their spray decisions, which enables an integrated approach to pest management. Your hard work will ensure grower engagement, implementation of research-based recommendations, and early detection of emerging issues. It is the "beating heart" of CVP's onion program.

Pay: $18.50/hr. No benefits. Personal mileage will be reimbursed at the federal rate.

Key Qualifications & Skills:
  • High School diploma and 6 months experience in an agriculture setting, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Must be able to meet the travel requirements of the position and have reliable transportation as well as have and maintain a valid and unrestricted New York State driver's license.
  • Visual concentration and attention to detail are required to detect pests and pest damage.
  • Able to work independently in collecting and summarizing data.
  • Must be able to work outdoors in all types of weather.
  • Proven experience in communicating effectively, both written and oral.
  • Preferred: Experience working with plants, plant disease and other pest identification.
Training will include being accompanied by a veteran onion scout for the first season with the intention of scouting independently in the second year, and ideally for several more years after.

Flexible on start and end dates, day(s) of week you work, and whether Oswego or Wayne or both counties are scouted. Our priority is finding someone who will return to the position annually.

Read details about the Onion Crop Scout position.

To apply (resume and cover letter): http://tiny.cc/Onion_Scout_WDR_00043345

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