Farmers can get help building high tunnels

BY THE TRI-CITY HERALDDecember 14, 2012 

Washington farmers who would like to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner can apply for help through USDA's Environmental Quality Incentives Program Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative.

Made of ribs of plastic or metal pipe covered with plastic sheeting, high tunnels are easy to build, maintain and move, according to a news release.

"High tunnels help expand the availability of healthy, locally-grown crops into the fall and winter months, which is a benefit to both producers and consumers," said Jeff Harlow, assistant state conservationist for programs.

The initiative provides technical and financial help in improving plant, soil and air quality and reducing nutrient and pesticide transport.

The cutoff date for this application period is Dec. 21. There will be a second sign-up cutoff on Feb. 15 if more money becomes available.

For more information, Benton County residents should contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Prosser at 509-786-1923. Franklin County residents can contact the Pasco office at 545-8546.

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