January 14, 2010

Irrigation Technology Reduces Waste Water

Forsta Filters has developed technology for reducing backwash waste water by as much as 75 percent. The company’s technology is called Green-Clean. Without interrupting system flow during backwash, Green-Clean technology utilizes smaller flush valves to minimize the volume of water required to remove buildup on a filter element. Using internal vacuum nozzles, the new Green-Clean system scans and removes debris from the filter in 15 seconds or less. This combination of short duration and small flush valve make the Green-Clean backwash cycle efficient. Forsta Filters offers a full line of self-cleaning water filters (1- to 36-inch flange size) with screen elements ranging from 5 to 4,000 micron. Integrating the Green-Clean technology in all products maximizes efficiency and reduces waste water and energy costs. Filters are constructed from all stainless steel and designed to provide a long-term solution to a wide range of industrial and municipal applications. For more information on […]

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January 6, 2010

Dramm Hires Les Evans

Dramm has hired Les Evans as its new technical representative for commercial sales. Evans has 15 years experience in the commercial horticulture industry. He has a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering with a concentration in water, soil and environmental engineering from North Carolina State University. With his background, he has been uniquely positioned to help clients understand their company’s resource allocation and help them become more sustainable, profitable businesses. “Les has been a great resource in the horticulture industry,” says Kurt Becker, director of marketing and sales at Dramm. “His wealth of experience and business objectives will be a great addition to our company.”     Evans will help clients on both the distributor and end-user levels for most of the Northeastern United States.  “It is a real honor to be a part of the Dramm Corporation,” he says. “I have had the pleasure of working with many of their people […]

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December 28, 2009

Open Your Mind To Open Roof

Why spend thousands of dollars every month to cool a greenhouse with exhaust fans when nature can do it for free? An open-roof greenhouse can drive down your energy costs significantly–but for many, this option has been priced out of reach.  X.S. Smith, however, believes the Sun Ridge is an answer to affordability questions. Unlike traditional polyethylene covered-roof vents that only provide a narrow opening on one side of the ridge, the Sun Ridge is a double-roof vent that provides a full 7-foot, 6-inch-wide opening at the center of the roof that leads straight up to the sky.    When used in combination with side-wall or end-wall vents, the Sun Ridge creates a solar chimney to naturally ventilate greenhouses. It allows a greater volume of hot air to escape at a much faster rate and mimics the outdoor-like feel of an open-roof greenhouse for a fraction of the cost. About […]

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November 11, 2009

New Product: Sprayer Calibrator

Innoquest, designers and manufacturers of sensors and measurement instruments, unveils the SpotOn sprayer calibrator, a handheld electronic flow rate checker for spray nozzles. The SpotOn sprayer calibrator quickly and accurately measures flow rate, which helps to reduce the likelihood of inaccurate chemical application by validating nozzle performance. “Recent research indicates fewer than 5 percent of chemical applications have been within 5 percent of desired target rates,” says Bill Hughes, president of Innoquest. “This inaccuracy can cost growers between $2 and $12 per acre, which adds up over time and acres. The SpotOn Sprayer Calibrator helps reduce these inaccuracies.” Simple to use and maintain, the battery-powered SpotOn Sprayer Calibrator can be operated with one hand and is ideal for use in determining sprayer output and indicating when spray nozzles are worn or in need of replacement. After being placed under the nozzle tip, the SpotOn sprayer calibrator displays measurements in 10 […]

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October 29, 2009

Analyzing Soil Humidity Remotely: Your Sixth Sensor

Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trust–mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need. Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring system called Sensiplant that determines the soil humidity of your container crops, so you can trust your watering regime a little more. Humidity Matters Sensiplant measures moisture in pots as a percentage, says Pete Hendriksen, North American sales manager at Hoogendoorn. “It determines what the moisture percentage is in a pot with various media, pot sizes and growing conditions. It’s wholly and specifically designed for the greenhouse industry.” Sensiplant is made up of sensors, wireless routers, an access point (your greenhouse computer) and a software program that analyzes measurements. Simply explained, Sensiplant sensors/transmitters are placed inside the […]

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October 19, 2009

Transplanter Tuneup

There are steps just about any grower can take to upgrade the efficiency of their plug transplanting line. And you don’t have to invest $150,000 in a new automated transplanter to do it. In fact, a basic set-up–a conveyor for hand-transplanting, a watering tunnel and a tagging machine–can improve the quality of the transplants and the efficiency of the process and lead to significant labor savings over a season.   Even the smallest growers can automate to some extent by having the material passing by on a conveyor as employees hand-transplant plugs into finish trays, says Rapid Automated’s Al Denning. “The belt speed sets the pace for the crew and they aren’t working on their own individual pace.”   Once the basics are in place, growers can increase their volume and continue to control labor costs by adding incremental pieces to the puzzle. “One piece of automation at a time […]

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October 19, 2009

Monitor Moisture Wirelessly

Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trust – mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need.  Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring system called Sensiplant that determines the soil humidity of your container crops, so you can trust your watering regime a little more.  Humidity Matters Sensiplant measures moisture in pots as a percentage, says Pete Hendriksen, North American sales manager at Hoogendoorn. “It determines what the moisture percentage is in a pot with various media, pot sizes and growing conditions. It’s wholly and specifically designed for the greenhouse industry.”   Sensiplant is made up of sensors, wireless routers, an access point (your greenhouse computer) and a software program that analyzes measurements. Simply explained, Sensiplant sensors/transmitters are […]

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September 29, 2009

Hamilton Unveils New System Separator

Hamilton Engineering, manufacturer of the EVO product line, has released its newest low-loss header: the Hamilton System Separator. The system separator allows for an infinite number of heating zones and loads with precise water temperature control, while maintaining boiler efficiency through turbulent flow. It functions as the heating system’s hub, removing air, separating flows and acting as the primary dirt and sludge separator. The system also eliminates pump conflict, extra boiler room plumbing and protects a grower’s boiler from fluctuating pressures, thereby increasing a boiler’s efficiency.   For more information on the new system separator, call Hamilton Engineering at 800-968-5530, e-mail sales@hamiltonengineering.com or visit HamiltonEngineering.com.

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September 29, 2009

Ohio Operations Active In Energy Program

Applicant Name Grant Requested Loan Requested Technology Mapleview Farms, Inc. $9,525   Greenhouse Heater Replacement Corso’s Perennials $74,897   Wind Turbine: Small Coram Flora (on behalf of Green Circle Growers)   $7,500,000 Biomass Fuel Switch Knitz Greenhouse $14,180 $19,851 Wind Turbine: Small Eagle Creek Wholesale $25,679   Wind Turbine: Small Mohican Gardens $20,000   Geothermal Heating System Webb Perennials $7,865   Biomass Fired Boiiler USDA awarded nearly $12 million in funding this year to Ohio growers and farmers as part of its Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), and at least seven Ohio greenhouse operations were recipients of USDA funds. REAP loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy-efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. More information about the REAP, which was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, is available at: www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill/index.html.  In Ohio alone, our industry received nearly two-thirds of the $12 million in funding awarded to businesses, […]

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September 11, 2009

This Year’s Top Horti Fair Products

Hundreds of new products and services are introduced at Horti Fair each year, but only a handful are nominated by an international jury of experts for the Horti Fair Innovation Award. This year, 18 products and services were nominated, including 10 in a Horti Tech category. Those products are as follows: - The Lumenex 5.60 from Boal Systemen, a new greenhouse roof that has an advantage of translucence in addition to the Double PVC system for improved energy control, water tightness and durability. - i4Energy from Hoogendorn, an application that collects all information relating to crops, climate and energy. - Hortiquip’s staking machine, which uses triangle laser technology to position stakes, including the automatic fitting of clips.  –The Knook ‘Waste to CO2′ from Knook Energy Solutions International, a process for the conversion of biomass into electricity, carbon dioxide and heat. - The Active Ventilation System (AVS) from van Dijk Heating, […]

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August 26, 2009

Monitoring Greenhouse Energy Effectively

The iGrow 400/800 series of controllers from Link 4 Corporation is designed specifically for easy transition in existing greenhouses using thermostats or early-generation controllers, while providing advanced control capabilities and affordability. The unique energy-use monitoring system gives growers real data on energy used by individual pieces of equipment for heating and cooling systems, showing energy cost savings and return on investment (ROI) for the controller. This is something thermostats or other controllers cannot do. Once a grower reaches his or her ROI with the controller, it will continue to show energy cost savings going forward. While traditional thermostats have often been used by growers to provide simple temperature control only, the iGrow 400/800 controllers offer a more advanced control over a wider range of equipment, such as: –Exhaust fans –Pad Pumps–Pad Louvers –HAF Fans –Fan Jets –Unit Heaters –Perimeter Heating Systems –Vents & Curtains –Other Equipment Each piece of equipment’s […]

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