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High tunnel seed, vegetable production avoids weather issues in Panhandle

By Kay Ledbetter

Rows of brilliant red salvia fill one high tunnel, and the aroma of basil drifts through another.

Dr. Charlie Rush, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Amarillo, is diversifying his high tunnel research into seed production this year.

Rush has spent the past four years building high tunnels and researching their use in growing vegetables at the Bushland research station. Previously, he has concentrated on tomato and pepper production, but this year he is working with Ball Horticultural and Pan American Seed to determine how well high tunnels work for seed production in other plants or crops.

“We are planting all these crops both inside the tunnels and outside in mirrored replicas so we can help producers understand the issues they may face and offer potential solutions where possible,” Rush said.

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