Few large-scale rose growers in the United States operate outside California, making Len Busch Roses in Plymouth, Minn., an exception.
“Our strengths are quality and freshness,” says Patrick Busch, managing director of the operation. “The rose grower from the far North is asserting himself with success against the competition.”
Busch attributes much of Len Busch Roses’ success to one particular product, Acyrlite Deglas high-impact acrylic double-skinned sheets. Sheets now cover about 500,000 square feet at Len Busch Roses, and they offer the operation tremendous energy savings.
Double-skinned sheets consist of two skins connected top and bottom by a number of ribs. The resulting air cavities of sheets act as an insulating layer, because the static air in the cavities is a poor heat conductor as compared with solid material.
The co-efficient heat transfer index, or U-value, states how effective this insulation is. The lower the U-value, the better the heat insulation. A 16-millimeter Acrylite Deglas acrylic double-skinned sheet has a particularly low U-value of 0.49.
Busch, who says the operation has cut energy costs in half because sheets insulate heat better, sees other benefits.
“The material requires very little maintenance and is resistant to hail,” he says. “That is very important in this region, with its frequent hailstorms.” The light transmission is another factor in the operation’s use of acrylite Deglas acrylic sheets, which transmit 86 percent of direct light–about the same percentage as single glazing.
“Roses more than many other flowers need plenty of light for optimum growth,” Busch says. “But tulips, gerbera and lilies also flourish in bright conditions.”