October 10, 2013

Netafim’s Ultrasonic Octave Water Meter Includes No Moving Parts

Octave from Netafim is a technically-advanced ultrasonic water meter that utilizes double-beam sensors to monitor flow. Octave offers a new level of accuracy to measuring flow data because the water flow path is unrestricted; there are no moving parts or impeller, which typically propel a meter’s register. With no wear-prone parts, Octave’s ultrasonic technology reduces maintenance and improves long-term reliability. The meter features an easy-to-read, multi-line digital LCD display that provides immediate reporting and visual indicators for critical conditions. The display includes volume units, flow rate units, flow director, leak detector, alarms and errors and more. Octave is available in sizes from 2 inch to 12 inch and monitor flow ranges from 1 GPM to 5,500 GPM. The pulsed output module allows integration with most landscape controllers. For more information on the Octave, visit NetaFimUSA.com

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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.

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NGMA

October 4, 2013

Ventilating And Cooling FAQ From NGMA

Use these helpful hints in answering some common questions about ventilating and cooling.

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The GGS open-roof greenhouse design provides an optimal system to both maximize ventilation while maintaining a smooth surface on the poly and good roof pitch for condensation control.

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.

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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.

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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 […]

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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

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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) […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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. “Any 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 University’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, it’s common for air leaks to reduce efficiency, leading to higher energy costs. Both and Runkle recommend inspecting your current house’s glazing, walls, doors, fans and vents for leaks. Pay close attention to the areas around […]

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