High tunnels have been used in the United States for more than 50 years, and growers are encouraged to use them more frequently through government cost-share programs. Research on fruits and vegetable production systems has focused on high value crops such as tomato, salad greens, and several fruit crops. Maintaining soil quality and controlling insects and diseases are all issues that growers face. This review looks at current research on these issues as well as economic considerations addressed in the scientific literature. Global statistics and reports are also reviewed that complement the North American studies. Gaps in our understanding are identified, and directions for future research are suggested.
Lamont, W.J.J., Orzolek, M.D., Holcomb, E.J., Demchak, K., Burkhart, E., White, L. and Dye, B. (2003) Production System for Horticultural Crops Grown in the Penn State High Tunnel. Horttechnology, 13, 358-362.
Hecher, E.A.D.S., Faluk, C.L., Enfield, J., Guldan, S.J. and Uchanski, M.E. (2014) The Economics of Low-Cost High Tunnels for Winter Vegetable Production in the Southwestern United States. Horttechnology, 24, 7-15.
Balliu, A. and Sallaku, G. (2008) Microclimate Control in Protected Cultivation. In: Abbasi, N.A. and Habib, U., Eds., Protected Horticulture, Department of Horticulture, University of Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi, 81-96.
Blomgren, T. and Frisch, T. (2007) High Tunnels: Using Low-Cost Technology to Increase Yields, Improve Quality, and Extend the Season. Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Regional Farm Food Project, New York.
Kacira, M. (2011) Greenhouse Production in US Status, Challenges, and Opportunities. Proceedings of GIGR International Symposium 2011 Sustainable Bioproduction-Water, Energy, and Food, Tokyo, 19-23 September 2011.
Scarascia-Mugnozza, G., Sica, C. and Russo, G. (2011) Plastic Materials in European Agriculture: Actual Use and Perspectives. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research, 42, 15-28. https://doi.org/10.4081/jae.2011.28
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (1983) Research and Demonstration on Protected Vegetable Production—Bahrain: The Study and Improvement of Soil Productivity under Plastic Tunnels and Open Field Conditions. Based on the Work of Amer, S.A., FAO Soil Fertility Specialist. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 169.
Brandle, J.R., Hodges, L. and Zhou, X.H. (2004) Windbreaks in North American Agricultural Systems. In: Nair, P.K.R., Rao, M.R. and Buck, L.E., Eds., Anonymous New Vistas in Agroforestry, Springer, Berlin, 65-78.
Krizek, D.T., Clark, H.D. and Mirecki, R.M. (2005) Spectral Properties of Selected UV-Blocking and UV-Transmitting Covering Materials with Application for Production of High-Value Crops in High Tunnels. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 81, 1047-1051. https://doi.org/10.1562/2005-08-09-RA-645
Adam, A., Kouider, S.A., Youssef, B., Hamou, A. and Saiter, J.M. (2005) Studies of Polyethylene Multi-Layer Films Used as Greenhouse Covers under Saharan Climatic Conditions. Polymer Testing, 24, 834-838.
Luthria, D.L., Mukhopadhyay, S. and Krizek, D.T. (2006) Content of Total Phenolics and Phenolic Acids in Tomato (Lycopersicon exculentum Mill.) Fruits as Influenced by Cultivar and Solar UV Radiation. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19, 771-777. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2006.04.005
Zhao, X., Carey, E.E., Young, J.E., Wang, W.Q. and Iwamoto, T. (2007) Influences of Organic Fertilization, High Tunnel Environment, and Postharvest Storage on Phenolic Compounds in Lettuce. Hortscience, 42, 71-76.
Ordidge, M., Garcia-Macia, P., Battey, N., Gordon, M., Hadley, P., John, P., Lovegrove, J., Vysini, E. and Wagstaff, A. (2010) Phenolic Contents of Lettuce, Strawberry, Raspberry, and Blueberry Crops Cultivated under Plastic Films Varying in Ultraviolet Transparency. Food Chemistry, 119, 1224-1227.
Rudisill, M.A., Bordelon, B.P., Turco, R.F. and Hoagland, L.A. (2015) Sustaining Soil Quality in Intensively Managed High Tunnel Vegetable Production Systems: A Role for Green Manures and Chicken Litter. Hortscience, 50, 461-468.
Altamimi, M.E. (2016) Evaluating Organic and Conventional Management and Nitrogen Rate for Effects on Yield, Soil and Plant Nutrient of Tomato and Pac Choi Grown under High Tunnel and in the Field. Ph.D. Thesis, Kansas State University, Manhattan.
Bonanomi, G., D’ascoli, R., Antignani, V., Capodilupo, M., Cozzolino, L., Marazaioli, R., Pupolo, G., Rutigliano, F.A., Scelza, R., Scotti, R., Rao, M.A. and Zoina, A. (2011) Assessing Soil Quality under Intensive Cultivation and Tree Orchards in Southern Italy. Applied Soil Ecology, 47, 187-194.
Both, A., Reiss, E.J., Sudal, J., Holmstrom, K., Wyenandt, C., Kline, W. and Garrison, S. (2007) Evaluation of a Manual Energy Curtain for Tomato Production in High Tunnels. Horttechnology, 17, 467-472.
Marshall, K.S., Erich, S., Hutton, M., Hutchinson, M. and Mallory, E. (2016) Nitrogen Availability from Compost in High Tunnel Tomato Production. Compost Science and Utilization, 24, 147-158.
O’connell, S., Rivard, C., Peet, M.M., Harlow, C. and Louws, F. (2012) High Tunnel and Field Production of Organic Heirloom Tomatoes: Yield, Fruit Quality, Disease, and Microclimate. Hortscience, 47, 1283-1290.
Powell, M., Gunderson, B., Cowan, J., Miles, C.A. and Inglis, D.A. (2014) The Effect of Open-Ended High Tunnels in Western Washington on Late Blight and Physiological Leaf Roll among Five Tomato Cultivars. Plant Disease, 98, 1639-1647.
Zhao, Y., Gu, M.M., Bi, G.H., Evans, B. and Harkess, R. (2014) Planting Date Effect on Yield of Tomato, Eggplant, Pepper, Zinnia, and Snapdragon in High Tunnel in Mississippi. Journal of Crop Improvement, 28, 27-37.
Rogers, M.A. and Wszelaki, A.L. (2012) Influence of High Tunnel Production and Planting Date on Yield, Growth, and Early Blight Development on Organically Grown Heirloom and Hybrid Tomato. Horttechnology, 22, 452-462.
Villiers, D.S.D., Wien, H.C., Reid, J.E. and Albright, L.D. (2011) Energy Use and Yields in Tomato Production: Field, High Tunnel and Greenhouse Compared for the Northern Tier of the USA (Upstate New York). Acta Horticulturae, 893, 373-380. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.893.34
Martin, C.A. and Sideman, R.G. (2012) Survival and Yields of Fall-Planted Winter Sprouting Broccoli Grown in High Tunnels for Spring Harvest in the Northeastern United States. Horttechnology, 22, 345-352
Wallace, R.W., Wsszelaki, A.L., Miles, C.A., Cowan, J.S., Martin, J., Roozen, J., Gundersen, B. and Inglis, D.A. (2012) Lettuce Yield and Quality When Grown in High Tunnel and Open-Field Production Systems under Three Diverse Climates. Horttechnology, 22, 659-668.
Rowley, D., Black, B. and Drost, D. (2010) High Tunnel Strawberry Production. Utah State University Cooperative Extension, Logan.
Medina, Y., Gosselin, A., Desjardins, Y., Gauthier, L., Harnois, R. and Khanizadeh, S. (2011) Effect of Plastic Mulches on Yield and Fruit Quality of Strawberry Plants Grown under High Tunnels. Acta Hort, 893, 1327-1332
Riza, M.T., Soria, C., Medina-Minguez, J.J. and Martinez-Ferri, E. (2012) Incidence of Misshapen Fruits in Strawberry Plants Grown under Tunnels Is Affected by Cultivar, Planting Date, Pollination and Low Temperatures. Hortscience, 47, 1569-1573.
Gaskell, M., Cantliffe, D.J., Stoffella, P.J. and Shaw, N.L. (2004) Field Tunnels Permit Extended Season Harvest of Small Fruits in California. Acta Hort, 659, 425-430. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2004.659.56
Dorais, M., Gaudreau, L., Bordeleau, M., Gosselin, A., Medina, Y., Gauthier, L., Desjardins, Y. and Khanizadeh, S. (2012) High Tunnel Production of Organic Ras-pberries. Proceedings of the Canadian Organic Science Conference and Science Cluster Strategic Meetings, Winnipeg, 21-23 February 2012, 125.
Hanson, E., Von Weihe, M., Schilder, A.C., Chanon, A.M. and Scheerens, J.C. (2011) High Tunnel and Open Field Production of Floricane- and Primocane- Fruiting Raspberry Cultivars. Horttechnology, 21, 412-418.
Rom, C.R., Friedrich, H., Mcafee, J., Garcia, M.E., Johnson, D., Popp, J., Vincent, C. and Van Iersel, M. (2008b) Potential for High Tunnel Organic Berry Production for Extended and Alternative Season. Hort Science, 43, 610.
Johnson, S.N., Young, M.W. and Karley, A.J. (2012) Protected Raspberry Production Alters Aphid-Plant Interactions but Not Aphid Population Size. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 14, 217-224.
Thompson, E., Strik, B.C., Finn, C.E., Zhao, Y. and Clark, J.R. (2009) High Tunnel versus Open Field: Management of Primocane-Fruiting Blackberry Using Pruning and Tipping to Increase Yield and Extend the Fruiting Season. Hortscience, 44, 1581-1587.
Rom, C.R., Friedrich, H., Mcafee, J., Garcia, M.E., Johnson, D. and Popp, J. (2008a) Early Performance of Organic Managed Floricane and Primocane Blackberries and Raspberries Grown in High Tunnels for Extended Season. Hort Science, 43, 1228.
Ogden, A.B. and Van Iersel, M.W. (2009) Southern Highbush Blueberry Production in High Tunnels: Temperatures, Development, Yield, and Fruit Quality during the Establishment Years. Hortscience, 44, 1850-1856.
Sydorovych, O., Rivard, C.L., O’connell, S., Harlow, C.D., Peet, M.M. and Louws, F.J. (2013) Growing Organic Heirloom Tomatoes in the Field and High Tunnels in North Carolina: Comparative Economic Analysis. Horttechnology, 23, 227-236.
Rodriguez, H.G., Popp, J., Thomsen, M., Friedrich, H. and Rom, C.R. (2012) Economic Analysis of Investing in Open-Field or High Tunnel Primocane-Fruiting Black-Berry Production in Northwestern Arkansas. Horttechnology, 22, 245-251.
Scotti, R., Bonanomi, G., Scclza, R., Zoina, A. and Rao, M.A. (2015) Organic Amendments as Sustainable Tool to Recovery Fertility in Intensive Agricultural Systems. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 15, 333-352.
Ali, M.A. and Ahmad, C.S. (2008) Role of Government Sector in the Development of Protected Horticulture in Pakistan. In: Abbasi, N.A. and Habib, U., Eds., Protected Horticulture, Department of Horticulture, University of Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi, 1-124.