September 28, 2015

11 Products For Precision Greenhouse Growing

These new options in equipment, automation, structures, lighting and software are designed to help growers run their operations with efficiency and accuracy and at a lower cost.

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Laura Drotleff

September 25, 2015

Growers Solve Problems With Precision Horticulture

My dad’s hands are covered with sores, nicks, scratches and bruises. It’s the ongoing reward — or drawback — of his ingenuity, as he’s constantly wrenching on equipment or constructing new innovations that will help him get work done more efficiently on the farm. As a kid, I would always marvel at his toughness, and how he would barely notice a new wound, shrugging it off as he kept working, driven to complete his work and bring his idea to fruition. He’s still at it today, and his hands tell the story of the many projects he’s completed over the years. I’m guessing many of you can relate, and your hands look similar to my dad’s. After all, ingenuity is the name of the game in this business, where creative thinking to solve problems often leads to revolutionary solutions that automate production, save labor and cut costs. That’s easy to […]

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September 24, 2015

AgriNomix Helps Keepsake Plants Cut Labor Costs With Automated Trimming

Keepsake Plants reduced labor for trimming Hydrangeas from 60 people to 28 by automating the process with AgriNomix Venti Trimmers.

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September 24, 2015

4 Dramm Products That Put The Precision Into Growing

When accuracy counts, the right tool makes all the difference. New products from Dramm put tools in growers hands to get the job done efficiently.

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The single cells move forward, still grouped with their pack, until the pack is positioned in front of an arm that can pick up several individual plants at a time

September 24, 2015

How Spring Meadow Nursery’s Custom Sorting Machine Keeps Its Young Plants Uniform

The Michigan-based nursery uses automation to cut apart trays of immature plants and regroups them into new trays of similar-sized plants.

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Figure 3. Sole-source lighting in a multi-layer vertical growing system utilizing hydroponics for vegetable production.

September 23, 2015

MSU Offers New Greenhouse Lighting Online Course For Growers

  Michigan State University Extension is now offering a non-credit, pre-recorded online course on greenhouse and horticultural lighting. The lighting course is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested learning about the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity and in duration. It provides introductory to moderately-challenging content primarily based on experiments performed at Michigan State and Purdue Universities. This is the second course in the College of Knowledge Online series offered on the national Extension website. The first course was Floriculture Root Zone Management, also available online. What Growers Will Learn From Taking This Course The 3-hours of pre-recorded lecture and video demonstrations are divided into seven units. The first and second units cover the properties of light and its importance for plant growth and development. The third unit discusses how light quality influences stem extension and flowering. The fourth unit of the course teaches […]

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ArmstrongGrowers Hanging Basket Area

September 22, 2015

Sole-Source Lighting In Horticulture: Bedding Plant Plug Production

Researchers determine how sole-source LED lighting can be used effectively for the production of bedding plant seedlings.

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September 18, 2015

Visser North America To Provide Mayer Potting Machines And Equipment

Visser North America (NA) will now be the official North American supplier for sales, service and parts provider of Mayer potting machines and equipment. The Mayer premium line of potting machines is the latest addition to the Visser NA lineup, including the NewLux, Logitec Plus and Visser product lines. “Much like our current product lines, Mayer is a leading provider of potting machines and further horticultural equipment worldwide and its brand represents quality in our industry,” says Kevin Vander Ploeg, president of Visser NA. “We believe in providing our customers with the best solution for their operation with ongoing support and service excellence. Naturally, we are pleased to add Mayer to our product line up.” Mayer, a German company manufacturing in Europe and with a global presence, has been designing and manufacturing potting machines since 1967. The Mayer product range includes solutions for the entire process chain from soil preparation to filling of pots/trays […]

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Costa Farms’ new solar panels will offset 493,487 pounds of carbon dioxide annually

September 15, 2015

Costa Farms Ramps Up Sustainability Efforts With Solar Energy Investments

Costa Farms is seeking to make sustainability a top priority at its headquarters and two other buildings in Miami with the recent construction of new solar panels, which will replace 25 percent of the company's power usage with solar energy.

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Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

September 14, 2015

Golden State Bulb Growers Increases Efficiency With New Calla Bulb Grading Line

Necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s certainly true for Golden State Bulb Growers. The Moss Landing, Calif., operation, which supplies its Callafornia Calla Lily bulbs to wholesale markets around the world, was in need of a more streamlined and less labor-intensive solution to grade and sort bulbs. So Golden State’s management team got creative and started talking with MAF Industries, part of the MAF-RODA Group that specializes in the design and manufacture of grading, packing, palletizing and handling fresh fruit and vegetable systems. The manufacturer was willing to work with Golden State on the Calla Lily bulb grading and sorting machine design process. This resulted in Golden State Bulb Growers investing $700,000 to purchase the new grading system to better serve the needs of its customers, increasing uniformity and productivity in its Callafornia Callas bulb processing. Investing in the new system has also allowed Golden State Bulb Growers […]

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Figure 1. Mustard microgreens grown under sole-source (SS) lighting using light-emitting diode (LED) arrays.

August 21, 2015

Sole-Source LED Lighting In Horticulture: Microgreens Production

In Part 3 of a four-part lighting series highlighting the multiple uses of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), researchers examine the effects of sole-source LED lighting on microgreen production to achieve the highest quality crop possible in an energy efficient manner.

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