October 7, 2013
LEDs Could Eventually Manipulate Scent, Color In Ornamentals And Edibles
With the ability to deliver specific light wavelengths with LED lights, growers, retailers and consumers could eventually manipulate the scent, color, flavor, postharvest life and other characteristics of ornamental and edible crops.
October 4, 2013
Top 10 Mistakes Greenhouse Growers Make When Planning An Expansion
From financing to production concerns, don't make these mistakes when planning additional greenhouse space.
October 2, 2013
Harvest Automation’s Robots Now Follow You Around The Greenhouse
Take a look at the new Follow Me Mode of Harvest Automation’s HV-100 robots.
September 17, 2013
LEDs Reduce Costs For Greenhouse Tomato Growers According To Purdue Study
Tomatoes grown around LED lights in the winter can significantly reduce greenhouse energy costs without sacrificing yield, according to a Purdue University study. Cary Mitchell, a professor of horticulture, said the average tomato is shipped about 1,500 miles from warmer climates where they’re grown to cooler climates that cannot produce the fruit cost-effectively in the winter. That journey is costly, however, because tomatoes are picked green and ripen during shipping, decreasing quality and flavor. The lengthy shipping distance also adds to the industry’s carbon footprint. “It makes it really hard for the greenhouse industry to grow tomatoes well in the offseason. We’re trying to change that and make it affordable,” Mitchell said. Energy costs drive up prices for producers who might want to grow tomatoes in greenhouses in states that have winters inhospitable to growing food. Greenhouses must be heated, and shorter, overcast days require costly lighting. Mitchell and doctoral […]
September 16, 2013
4 New Irrigation Products
Delta T Solutions Flood Floors Delta T Solutions sub-irrigation systems can be customized to fit growers’ needs. Water is recycled and filtered to reduce disease instances. Sub-irrigation provides even watering and fertilizer distribution, resulting in uniform crops. Flood floors are highly compatible with in-floor heating systems, which quickly dry remaining water for disease control. DeltaTSolutions.com
September 13, 2013
Comparing LED Lighting To High-Pressure Sodium Lamps
Cuttings of vegetatively propagated bedding plants are frequently rooted in late winter and early spring to meet the spring and early summer market demand for flowering bedding plants. However, this is also the time when dirty and old glazing material, interior superstructures, and hanging baskets suspended above benches reduce already seasonally low ambient outdoor daily light integrals (DLIs) inside the greenhouse. Increasing the DLI during propagation has been shown to improve growth and quality of rooted cuttings, as well as reduce time to flower after transplanting. While maintaining clean glazing material, minimizing superstructure and reducing the density of hanging baskets may increase greenhouse DLI, the only way to appreciably increase DLI is to provide supplemental or photosynthetic lighting. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are solid-state, semi-conducting diodes that can emit light from ~250 nm to ≥1000 nm. There are several features of LEDs that make them attractive alternatives to high-pressure sodium (HPS) […]
September 12, 2013
Irrigating Crops On Demand
Automating greenhouse irrigation can be a huge labor saver, which is imperative for a modern greenhouse to be competitive. Irrigation controllers make it possible to automate greenhouse irrigation, but one usually programs the system to come on for a set time on a set schedule. Environmental conditions change such that a set program may be wrong more often than it is right. Sensing devices can be employed to aid a greenhouse operator making decisions about when to water, or one can take this a step further and let the substrate itself decide when it needs to be watered. Comparing On-Demand To Automated Irrigation Rather than have a set schedule programmed into a controller, it is possible to wire a moisture-sensing device, such as a tensiometer, between an electric valve and a source of electricity (transformer). When the moisture level in the substrate falls below a set-point, a switch on the […]
August 23, 2013
Structural Design Manual From National Greenhouse Manufacturing Association Offers Construction Guidance
The manual guides designers through the building code provisions for production and commercial greenhouse structures. It includes the provisions for roof live load, snow load, wind loads and seismic and collateral loads as contained in the building code or reference standards. Structural design methods for roof framing systems, the support columns and the lateral bracing systems are also detailed. This chapter looks at bracing, connection materials, roof support systems, trusses, arches, rigid frames, gutters, ridges, purlins and more. It also includes two design examples. Click here to visit the NGMA Downloads page and click on the dropdown menu under Design Manuals.
August 15, 2013
Time to Upgrade Your Greenhouse Operation?
Unhappy plants, discontented workers and high production costs are all signs that it might be time for some changes to your greenhouses, says A.J. Both, associate extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. â€œAny or all of these conditions can be a good reason to investigate and implement upgrades,â€� he says. Wasted Energy Energy is one of the costliest aspects of running a growing operation, second only to labor expenses. According to a fact sheet produced by Both and Michigan State Universityâ€™s Erik Runkle, approximately 65 to 85 percent of the energy consumed in greenhouse production goes toward heating, while electricity and transportation make up the remainder. In older greenhouses, itâ€™s common for air leaks to reduce efficiency, leading to higher energy costs. Both and Runkle recommend inspecting your current houseâ€™s glazing, walls, doors, fans and vents for leaks. Pay close attention to the areas around […]
August 13, 2013
Google Glass: How Will It Impact The Greenhouse Industry?
You may be asking, what is Google Glass? It’s Google’s latest attempt to free data from desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, and place it right in front of your eyes. It’s a wearable computer with a glass screen that allows you to access the web, record video as you see it, perform actions based on voice activation and display useful information about what you’re looking at. It looks futuristic, like something out of a sci-fi movie, but will soon be upon us and used for both entertainment and productivity. But why am I writing about this on a greenhouse site? Because it could very well change the way we do business. Apps are just now being created by third-party developers and will be similar to smartphone apps. The difference is you will be able to control these apps using voice commands and you’ll see information displayed in front of your […]