Adapting and Expanding High Tunnel Organic Vegetable Production

This webinar by Dr. Xin Zhao of the University of Florida took place on December 7, 2023, and was organized by eOrganic and the Organic Farming Research Foundation, with funding from NIFA OREI.

About the Webinar

Commonly used for season extension and the production of high-value crops, cost-effective high tunnel protected culture systems are increasingly recognized by organic growers for their many benefits to help overcome site-specific challenges. This webinar will present and discuss up-to-date findings and recommendations from a NIFA OREI funded research project with a focus on enhancing high tunnel organic vegetable production for the Southeast.

The interdisciplinary team included researchers and Extension experts from the University of Florida, Florida A&;M University, University of Georgia, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service. Integrated high tunnel organic crop systems and production practices were evaluated in Florida and Georgia to tackle challenges associated with crop management for season extension, environmental management for microclimate manipulation, soil health and nutrient management, and pest and disease management. We also assessed factors influencing high tunnel adoption among organic growers.

Related publication: Using High Tunnels to Enhance Organic Vegetable Production in Florida: an Overview

About the Presenter

Xin Zhao, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. Dr. Zhao is a Professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. Her position provides research and education programs in sustainable and organic vegetable production with the overall goal of improving and integrating environmental stewardship, crop health and productivity, food quality, and farm profitability.


  • Marilyn E. Swisher, Family, Youth and Community Sciences Department, University of Florida
  • Nicholas S. Dufault, Plant Pathology Department, University of Florida
  • Amanda C. Hodges, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida
  • Zhifeng Gao, Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida
  • Alejandro Bolques, Florida A&M University Research and Education Center
  • Jesusa C. Legaspi, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, CMAVE
  • Timothy Coolong, Horticulture Department, University of Georgia
  • Juan Carlos Díaz-Pérez, Horticulture Department, University of Georgia


Published October 31, 2023

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.