Relatively little season

extension research has

been conducted in the

southwestern United States,

particularly with low-cost

high tunnels or hoop

houses for small-scale

farmers. In this study, the

economics of winter

production of two leafy

crops [lettuce (Lactuca

sativa ) and spinach

(Spinacia oleracea)] in high

tunnels in two locations in

New Mexico were

investigated, first using a

simulation analysis in which

yields were stochastic

variables followed by a

sensitivity analysis to

examine returns from the

high tunnel designs more

closely. The returns

examined in the sensitivity

analysis were net of high

tunnel materials, crop seed

cost, and electricity. Two

planting dates were tested

and three high tunnel

designs were examined: a

single layer covering the

house (SL), a double layer

inflated with air (DL), and a

double layer inflated with

air and containing black

water barrels to store heat

(DL+B). The SL and DL

designs appear to be the

more appropriate

technology for both

locations for spinach,

whereas for lettuce the DL

+B model might be a

reasonable option in

Alcalde, a more-northern

location. Overall, the SL and

DL models provided

adequate protection for

growing crops, were less

expensive to build, provided

more interior growing

space, and resulted in

higher probabilities of

producing positive returns,

compared with the DL+B

design. The DL design

performed similarly to the

SL design, but required

running electricity to the

structure to power the

inflation fan, adding to the

cost. As a result, expected

returns in all cases were

higher using the SL design

based on the results of the

sensitivity analyses.

Combining the risk and the

sensitivity analyses

provides growers with a

unique evaluation process

to make high tunnel design,

planting date, and crop


المصدر: Emmanuel Alves Dos Santos Hecher , Constance L. Falk, Juliette Enfield ,Steven J. Guldan and Mark EUchanski 6,7

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