Desert/steppe environments characterize the Great Basin, where dry air masses induce broad ranges in daily temperature throughout the seasons and increase the probability of killing frosts at the beginning and end of growing seasons. Consequently, Nevada’s major agricultural enterprises include forage (largely alfalfa), livestock and some dairy, i.e. agricultural products that are less sensitive to daily and seasonal temperature variations.
Although water resources are limited, the abundance of clear, cloudless days (estimated to be as much as 90% of days in typical year) provide copious sunlight and energy for plant growth. Therefore, with the appropriate tools such as greenhouses, hoop houses, hydroponics, and linkages to alternative energy resources, sustainable agricultural production of specialty crops can be developed in northern Nevada.
The objective of this project is to improve fruit and vegetable production through research, education, and outreach utilizing hoop houses, greenhouses and hydroponics. The project is a joint venture between two UNR colleges, nonprofit firms, schools, food services and several restaurants located in northern Nevada.