This is a USDA-SCRI research project on growing fresh raspberries and strawberries under plastic tunnels. Next is the summary from the grant: National demand for fresh raspberries and strawberries is strong and growing, but most domestic production occurs in select regions of the U.S with the most suited climate. Farmers in the upper Midwest and Northeast are keenly interested in supplying more berries to satisfy local demand, but cold winters and short, humid growing seasons limit yields and quality. Protective structures or tunnels appear to mitigate many climatic limitations, but our SCRI Planning Grant showed that producers want information on many topics including which type of structure and plastic to choose and the benefits they can provide. This Standard Research and Extension project will fill these information gaps. An enormous array of protective structures and covering plastics are available, including specialty “smart” plastics that can diffuse light and alter the spectrum. Modifying light quality and intensity – basic conditions to which all organisms have adapted – can directly impact the yield and quality of berry crops while presenting unique opportunities for non-chemical pest management methods. Our goal is to provide growers with the knowledge base needed to select structures and plastics that optimize productivity and pest management, while increasing profits and minimizing the generation of plastic waste. This directly addresses SCRI focus areas 2 (threats from pests and diseases), 3 (improving crop productivity and profitability), and 4 (employing new innovations).
An initial idea was to have a raspberry or strawberry strutting down a runway with a tunnel covering it. Maybe incorporate USDA-SCRI as audience members or written below. Below is a photo of a tunnel.