LINX Greenhouses Division Adds An Affordable New Tier To Nexus Corp.’s Offerings

Nexus' new LINX Greenhouses Division offers a freestanding product line with an affordable mix of Gothic- and arch-profile structures.

Nexus Corp. has long had a reputation as serving the high end of the commercial greenhouse structures market for both growers and retailers. That description is expanding a bit with the introduction of the company’s new LINX Greenhouses division. LINX offers a new tier of structures to the Nexus offerings — a freestanding product line with an affordable mix of three gothic- and arch-profile structures.

Scott Thompson, a past NGMA President and active industry participant in sales, product development and customer service for more than 30 years, joined Nexus in August 2012 and brought his years of design and technology experience to help put together the LINX division and its products.

We talked with Thompson for his perspective on the new division and what he thinks LINX will bring to the grower market.

GG: How would you describe the LINX line of structures to a grower?
Thompson: What was critical in trying to make this all happen was basing everything with LINX around the standard Nexus has set over the years without taking away from the quality. We still needed to produce a product that meets the standard, “The strength of the industry.”

It’s a different type of product, but those same standards are going to be critical to our success. The core business of Nexus emphasized higher-end product applications. What we’re hoping to do with LINX is solidify the foundation of what is available under the Nexus umbrella; we will hit the Nexus standards, but with a different set of product lines.

These won’t only be freestanding applications. There will be gutter-connected applications as well. The LINX product line is for a grower or a retailer who needs space at a specific target price and the ability to enhance or upgrade it down the road. A LINX structure may have a few more limitations on coverings but enough variety to hit most customer requirements. If customers want something more than what we feel comfortable selling we would direct them to a Nexus product that better fits their needs.

GG: So this is a more affordable version that will allow you to work with people who would have liked to work with Nexus but couldn’t before?
Thompson: Right. I had a colleague who loved the phrase “Making technology affordable.” That’s what we’re doing here. It’s critical to the success of our industry. We want to help growers of any type who are looking to invest in their operations to make them more efficient and cost effective.

GG: These structures are still primarily for ornamental production, right?
Thompson: Most certainly. But one of the things the LINX product line is also developing is the ability to hit a lot of different market segments. We believe strongly we can start with a building that allows the customer to keep it very simple and go with a couple of different profiles and a wide variety of widths and lengths. If they want it to be a simple cover — a high tunnel — we can offer that. And we can enhance that same structure going forward to give them a much more controlled environment and set the pathway for controlled-environment agriculture. We can take a basic greenhouse range and cover it in a wide variety of ways. You can add equipment or just keep it as a cover. There are a lot of different applications for a building.

Our primary market will be ornamentals. But until the housing market turns around and we figure out this shift in who the consumer is and how all of that’s going to work with landscaping opportunities, we as greenhouse manufacturers have to look at other markets and other applications. Opportunities around controlled-environment agriculture are a significant part of where we’re going to focus our energies. These products will have multiple market applications. That’s what you want to try to do. Find something you know is going to work in a specific market and if you can find additional applications going forward, you certainly want to pursue those. If you don’t, someone else is going to.

GG: Will the supplemental equipment offerings be the same for LINX as with other Nexus structures?
Thompson: Yes, there will be a lot of similarities but also there will be the introduction of some new and different equipment that Nexus may not have sold before but I am familiar with. For example, probably the biggest thing will be natural ventilation applications and those being used with motor gear boxes in both direct drive and indirect drive applications. That is dramatic and somewhat new because it allows you to reduce not only your electrical consumption but also all of your wiring and electrical requirements up front because you have fewer motors. You’re using less electricity and becoming more efficient. That’s a product area I’m going to spend a lot of time on in the next 30 days.

GG: Nexus does retail applications as well as growing structures. Will the LINX structures be positioned for retail as well?
Thompson: I would be reluctant to say we’re going after the retail market with any LINX product, knowing the Nexus line covers those bases. The LINX product line will supplement those retailers who need seasonal space for green goods storage on a short-term basis or additional growing facilities to supply their retail store. That’s where we’ll fit in. It’s not set up to be a more permanent retail structure that you would have the public in. The LINX buildings are typically not going to be for public occupancy. Enhanced, you can do so, but the primary application is going to be for growers and growing.

Leave a Reply

More From Equipment...
Marc van Iersel

September 1, 2015

GROwing Floriculture Research And Extension

Research and outreach efforts help keep floriculture production profitable. With seemingly continuous budget cuts to university and federal budgets, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to sustain their programs and to keep making a positive impact on the industry. So what can be done to ensure that the industry will keep getting the research and outreach support it has come to rely on? There already is a variety of funding programs that support research and Extension programs in our industry. This funding is critical for many floriculture research and outreach programs. What can we do to leverage that funding and make sure it has the biggest possible impact? A program that I was part of in 2010 may serve as a model. LAUNCH was co-founded by NASA, NIKE, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State as a program to help make innovative ideas become a […]

Read More
Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler - Feature image

September 1, 2015

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler Of Bell Nursery USA Leads By Example

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler is laying a strong groundwork for the industry by mentoring future growers and instilling a sense of pride in growing quality crops.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler - Feature image

September 1, 2015

Bell Nursery USA Cultivates New Growers Through Internships

Bell Nursery USA started its internship program two years ago with the aim of identifying and training the growers of the future. Each season, the company’s internships give interns a broad overview of the company, exposing them to everything from growing and production to distribution, retail and finances.

Read More
Latest Stories
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 P…

In Part 2 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.

Read More
Lighting 2015 August Feature Image

August 14, 2015

Customizing Crop Foliage Color With LEDs: Ornamental Cr…

Do you find that your purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) crop is often green to light purple? What if we told you there is a quick solution to enhance and darken the foliage of purple fountain grass or other floriculture crops? In this second article of a four-part series highlighting the multiple uses of high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs), we will discuss our research methodology and findings for enhancing the foliage color of ornamental crops with end-of-production (EOP) supplemental lighting (SL) in the greenhouse. Many ornamental crops that greenhouse and nursery growers produce vary in size, shape and color. These variables are often influenced by the growing environment. For example, leaf color (intensity, distribution or both) of ornamental crops such as purple fountain grass is a key component that often influences the consumer’s perception and ultimately an impulse purchase. The red or purple pigmentation of purple fountain grass leaves is […]

Read More
WaterPulse retail mats can help cut water use in retail settings

August 10, 2015

Technology Provides Solutions For Growing In Drought

In April, California Gov. Jerry Brown directed the State Water Resources Control Board to institute reductions in cities and towns across the state with the goal of reducing water usage by 25 percent. The announcement comes following the lowest snowpack ever recorded in the High Sierra. It was the first time in state history that action was taken to implement mandatory water restrictions. In May, the farmers in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta agreed to reduce their water use by 25 percent in exchange for assurance that they will not face further curtailment during the June to September growing season. Their proposal was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board. Growers who participate in the program could opt to either reduce water diversions under their riparian rights by 25 percent, or fallow 25 percent of their land. Given these conditions, growers and retailers are in need of methods and […]

Read More
Heating Roundup Feature Image

August 1, 2015

5 New Heating Options For The Greenhouse

Five heating systems manufacturers share their latest and greatest products. Tubing And Aluminum Heat Pipes (BioTherm) From Megatube and MicroClimate tubing to DuoFin and StarFin aluminum heat pipe, BioTherm is dedicated to providing heat solutions that can withstand the toughest greenhouse environments. The MegaTube and MicroClimate tubing options are easy to install and ideal for bench or floor heating. The tubing has a conductive heating surface that allows for maximum root-zone heating. The DuoFin and StarFin aluminum pipe options are great for perimeter heating and melting snow trapped in the greenhouse gutter. It can also be useful for bench heating. Both pipe options provide gentle, radiant heat for plants and don’t require welding. TrueLeaf.net Infinite Energy 2 Condensing Boiler (Delta T Solutions) With up to 98 percent efficiency, the IE2 condensing boiler boasts a stainless steel heat exchanger with larger waterways to ensure maximum heat transfer. The product’s design ensures flexibility while […]

Read More
Heating Feature image

July 27, 2015

In Hot Pursuit Of Heating Trends For The Greenhouse

From biomass boilers to hydronic-heating systems, growers have a range of options to fit their operation’s unique needs. Here’s what five manufacturers had to say about the latest trends.

Read More
lighting feature

June 29, 2015

Customizing Crop Foliage Color With LEDs: Red Leaf Let…

In the first of a four-part series highlighting the multiple uses of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), researchers share how end-of-production supplemental lighting with LEDs enhances red leaf lettuce color prior to harvesting and shipping.

Read More

June 28, 2015

Keep Your Cool In The Greenhouse

Summer is in full swing, and that means growers need to worry about protecting plants and greenhouse employees from brutal temperatures. No sweat! These product manufacturers have offerings to help beat the heat.

Read More
Greenhouse Electrical System

June 23, 2015

Don’t Let Your Greenhouse Electrical System Come …

The size of a greenhouse operation is one of the biggest factors when determining the type of electrical system to install. Part 2 of "Don't Let Your Electrical System Come Up Short" covers locating electrical wires, meeting electrical load demands and environmental considerations.

Read More
Schaefer-fan

June 23, 2015

Schaefer Ventilation Opens Distribution Center In Atlan…

Schaefer Ventilation Equipment, a manufacturer of ventilation and thermal comfort products, has opened a new distribution center in Atlanta, Ga., to increase efficiency and provide faster services to dealers. Additionally, the company has added a new staff member to its agricultural and horticultural division to help expand markets in Latin America.

Read More
HID Lighting System

June 18, 2015

Talking Shop: Using Lighting To Boost Beneficials

Peace Tree Farm was looking for a way to maintain beneficial insect populations through the winter. It found a potential solution through the use of rotating HID lighting.

Read More

June 17, 2015

Costa Farms Reduces Greenhouse Emissions With Solar Pow…

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.

Read More
aquatrols

June 3, 2015

Aquatrols Renews Cooperative Research And Development A…

Aquatrols Corporation recently announced a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Dr. Matt Madsen and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The objective of the new CRADA is to further refine and evaluate surfactant seed coating technologies for use in wildfire rehabilitation, turf and pasture grasses, restoration species and other horticultural and agricultural systems. The three-year agreement renews a CRADA that Aquatrols first signed with the ARS in 2012. The original partnership has resulted in promising field and greenhouse trials, pending patents and initial steps toward commercialization of the surfactant seed coating technology. “We are very encouraged by the work that Dr. Madsen and his team have put together over the past three years,” says Aquatrols’ President and CEO Tracy Jarman. “This innovative technology has shown incredible potential with wide-ranging impacts in multiple industries. Aquatrols’ stated mission is to change the way the world grows and this technology has the […]

Read More
Growers are looking for low-cost options for temperature control, like circulating fans and exhaust fans.

April 10, 2015

New Ways To Give Growers Control Of The Greenhouse Envi…

From heating systems to circulation fans, manufacturing companies are finding new ways to help growers control the greenhouse environment, save on energy costs and streamline production.

Read More
Polyarch Berns

March 12, 2015

The Energy Efficient Greenhouse

New coverings technology means today’s films, plastics, shade cloths and climate screens slash heating and cooling costs while improving crop productivity year round. We checked with manufacturers to see what’s new and uncovered some best practices for buttoning up your greenhouse. Here’s what you need to know about the latest trends.

Read More
FormFlex_MTZ Hanging Basket

March 11, 2015

4 New Ways To Automate Your Operation

These new automation products can help streamline labor-intensive tasks, saving time and labor and increasing productivity.

Read More
Outfitting Your Greenhouse

February 24, 2015

Save Energy With The Right Greenhouse Glazing

The glazing you choose can make a big difference in your energy bill and the uniformity of your crops.

Read More
Michigan State University Extension

February 24, 2015

Ethylene From Defective Greenhouse Heaters Damages Crop…

Malfunctioning greenhouse heaters can lead to crop damage from ethylene and carbon monoxide induced illness for workers. Michigan State University's Extension educators Tom Dudek and Randy Beaudry teach you how to recognize the symptoms and check greenhouse heaters to avoid the concern.

Read More
Havest Automation Robot

February 18, 2015

Robots Grab Hold Of Growers’ Material Handling Needs

Harvest Automation’s HV-100 robots automate one of the hardest, most labor-intensive jobs at growing operations – plant spacing. With more technology coming, investing in robots could become even more realistic for growers of all sizes.

Read More