August 1, 2009

10 Tips For Improving Heating In The Greenhouse

Winter drafts. They’re enough to send chills down your back, especially when you start thinking about possible gaps, tears and holes in and around your greenhouse. Nothing’s worse than escaping heat and losing money at the same time. What follows are 10 action items that will help keep more of your heating dollars safely in your pocket as the temperature dips. Bob Fritchen, sales manager at Modine Manufacturing Company, says it best: “Make sure the first cold blast is not the first time you turn on your system.” 1. Reduce The Space Morris Brink, West Coast territory sales manager for TrueLeaf Technologies, says, “The first thing we encourage growers to do is reduce the heated area in the early spring.” When getting crops started, cordon off a small section of the greenhouse in a pot-to-pot tight environment, rather than using an entire greenhouse range, he adds. With micro-climate heating, “You […]

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July 23, 2009

Big-Time Bench Warmer

The Roll-N-Grow mat for benches and mesh for floors are new products TrueLeaf Technologies unveiled at OFA Short Course earlier this month. TrueLeaf developed the mat and mesh because many growers called the company over the last couple years asking for spot bottom heat. The Roll-N-Grow mat is made connecting tubing with holding rails that are spaced every 2 inches. Mats are ideal for most general greenhouse bench heating applications. Mesh heating for floors are designed similarly. Tubes are woven directly into a weed mat fabric and shipped on a roll just like standard ground cover fabric. Tubing is woven in on 3-inch centers, which provide even heating for gently warming crops like bedding plants, perennials in flats or potted crops produced on the floor. For more information on the warmers, click here.

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July 21, 2009

Netafim Introduces New Saddle Meters

Every irrigation system needs water and fertilizer delivered at the right time and in the right amounts, and metering is the only way to make sure water and fertilizer are delivered accurately. Enter Netafim USA’s new line of saddle meters. Their unique double magnetic transmission design allows meters to handle high loads of sand because only the impeller is in contact with the water. Repelling magnets enable accurate measurement across a wide range of flow rates, from very high to very low, while maintaining superior accuracy even after many years of operation. A three-year warranty begins from the date of installation. Other features of Netafim’s saddle meters are: - Accuracy of +/-2 percent without adding costly overrun bearings–Corrosion-resistant stainless steel saddle and bearings for long life–Programmable digital register for multiple pipe sizes/wall thickness–Dry pulse output for reliable communication For more information about saddle meters or other products from Netafim USA, […]

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July 20, 2009

Visser Transplanter Increases Speed, Efficiency

The PC 20 Gripper, an automatic transplanting machine Visser NA produces, is capable of transplanting 10,000 plants per hour with eight grippers sized for plug trays from 512 up to 50 cells. PC 20s can plant into bedding plant flats, pots, planters, baskets and other containers. Up to 10 plants per pot or cell can be planted. Many parameters can be changed while in operation, such as picking and planting height or machine speed. Additionally, 50 different plug trays and 50 different pots can be stored in the machine’s memory. For more information on Visser’s new transplanting machine or other new products from Visser, click here.

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July 7, 2009

Firm Acquires Stake In Interstate Transport

Palm Beach Capital (PBC) has purchased a significant but non-controlling stake in Interstate Transport, Inc., a logistics, logistics software and freight transportation company. “This is an exciting time for Interstate, our employees and our customers,” says Gloria Higham, Interstate’s executive vice president. “To be approached by a leading private equity firm and to close a deal in this economic environment speaks volumes of our years of operational excellence, steadfast aversion to debt, focus on profitability and dedication to sustainable levels of growth. Over the years, we have waited patiently for the right partner. We now have what we need to continue our amazing journey.” In 2008, Interstate spun its transportation management system, InMotion Global TMS, into its own wholly owned subsidiary, InMotion Global, Inc. The company has also been hiring staff and is expanding its Saint Petersburg, Fla., headquarters. “We are incredibly excited that Palm Beach Capital has partnered with […]

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July 1, 2009

Costa High On New Hydration System

AquaLok, a sustainable hydration system from Freedom Garden Products that releases water and oxygen when plants need them, found a suitor in Costa Farms, which will develop new brands using AquaLok technology across garden centers in North and South America. AquaLok technology allows consumers to expand the watering intervals for their plants, as it cuts the watering schedules in half. Some plant varieties can go a month between watering with the technology. AquaLok, developed by Joe Byles, CEO and president of Freedom Garden Products, will also be available to other indoor and annual plant growers.  “Although I graduated with an aerospace engineering degree,” Byles says, “I was fortunate to combine my engineering background and work with top landscape and irrigation industries to develop new technologies that improve water conservation and save time and money for consumers.” Costa Farms will make a presentation on Aqualok at Short Course in Columbus, Ohio, […]

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June 17, 2009

Advanced Automation

A one-gallon pot is no longer just a one-gallon pot for growers who serve the home improvement chains and mass merchandisers. Retailers want to differentiate with their own pricepoint, sticker and style, and that creates more costs for growers. For a grower like Garden State Growers, which serves Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart, keeping production for its three biggest accounts in separate bays is a priority. Shipping a Lowe’s pot to a Home Depot store is an obvious no-no, and general manager Roy den Hollander believes equipment and automation play a big role in Garden State’s accurate track record. “All three retailers want their logo on pots,” den Hollander says. “We’re looking to drop the starter pot into another pot that has the customer-specific information on it. Whether a machine strips one pot and puts on another or puts a pot over starter pots, the idea is to have pots […]

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June 17, 2009

Equipment For Efficiency

Dramm The new 65 Touch N’ Flow trigger valve has been completely reengineered for true professional use. The 65 offers double the flow– 11 GPM at 40 PSI–and greatly increased durability. Durability testing at Dramm shows the new 65 is similar to the company’s top-of-the-line 300 brass and aluminum valves. Spectrum Technologies The new FieldScout CM 1000 NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) meter uses point-and-shoot technology to instantly measure reflected light in red and near infrared spectral bands. The meter uses these measurements to calculate NDVI. The higher the NDVI measurement, the healthier the plant. Growing Systems The lightweight dibbler is available to accurately dibble proper diameter holes into the media of cell packs, plug trays and all other container configurations. Complete with stripper plate that allows for adjustable and uniform pin penetration into cells, flats or pots, the dibbler improves transplanting efficiency. Hoogendoorn The iSii is an advanced greenhouse […]

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June 17, 2009

Garden State’s Conveyors: Advanced Automation

A one-gallon pot is no longer just a one-gallon pot for growers who serve the home improvement chains and mass merchandisers. Retailers want to differentiate with their own pricepoint, sticker and style, and that creates more costs for growers. For a grower like Garden State Growers, which serves Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart, keeping production for its three biggest accounts in separate bays is a priority. Shipping a Lowe’s pot to a Home Depot store is an obvious no-no, and general manager Roy den Hollander believes equipment and automation play a big role in Garden State’s accurate track record. “All three retailers want their logo on pots,” den Hollander says. “We’re looking to drop the starter pot into another pot that has the customer-specific information on it. Whether a machine strips one pot and puts on another or puts a pot over starter pots, the idea is to have pots […]

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June 16, 2009

Need Better Cooling Efficiency?

Quietaire’s evaporative cooling pads offer advantages for more efficient and economical evaporative cooling. Cooling pads are made from a specially formulated cellulose impregnanted with a thermosetting resin. They have a cross-corrugated, angle-flute cellulose construction and are available in thicknesses of 4 or 6 inches. Pads are 12 inches wide and available in 12-inch increments from 24 to 72 inches. One benefit of the cooling pads is they’re durable and long lasting. To get the most out of pads, Quietaire suggests a good preventative maintenance program: –Maintain the pH of the recycled water between 6 and 9. When these limits are exceeded, there is degradation and potential fan failure. –Deposits from salt water will occur at concentrations above 50,000 ppm. Keep salt water concentration in the make up water to less than 40,000 ppm and in recycle water at less than 50,000 ppm. Adjust the bleed-off rate to minimize salt build […]

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June 4, 2009

GGS Buys Niagrow Systems

Structures manufacturer GGS announced the purchase of Niagrow Systems, hot water heating systems supplier for greenhouses in North America. Niagrow Systems Manager Wim van der Windt will continue to manage the company as an independent subsidiary business of GGS. Leigh Coulter, one of the owners of GGS, described the move as the best of all worlds. “GGS is a structures manufacturer, and we are the best at what we do. Niagrow Systems is an engineering design company, and they know heating systems better than anyone else. These are two very different companies. By keeping them under separate management, we ensure that the best qualities of each are focused on. That is better for our customers, and therefore, better for us.” Van der Windt says he is pleased with joining the GGS group of companies. “GGS brings with it a renewed focus in providing the best products and services to greenhouse […]

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