- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

KENAI, Alaska (AP) - Alaska’s success with federally funded high tunnels for extending growing seasons is being recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA says it’s changing its High Tunnel Cost Share grant program from an interim practice to a standard practice. That means less uncertainty about future funding.

High tunnels are tall hoop houses used to cover crops.

The USDA’s Meg Mueller tells the Peninsula Clarion (https://bit.ly/1FSYR2f) that the program has been tested and proven in Alaska for five years. Alaska has more high tunnels per capita than any state, including 161 in Homer.

Natural Resources Conservation Service soil conservationist Pam Voeller says growers who previously felt pressure to sign up for a subsidized high tunnel while they were part of an interim practice now have time to thoroughly develop plans.

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Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com


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