From the launch of its first aluminum water breaker 74 years ago, Dramm Corporation has dedicated its efforts to providing growers with the type of precision tools that save time and money.
New tools from Dramm designed to streamline production and fine-tune growing practices help growers increase efficiency. And when challenges arise, growers have the tools they need to take care of problems quickly and efficiently.
Dramm TracFog Makes Spraying Quick And Easy
Spraying is a necessary part of any greenhouse operation, but the time and labor needed to do it often come at a high cost for growers.
The PTO (power take-off)-driven, high-volume Dramm TracFog is pulled behind a tractor and swiftly takes care of an acre of spraying in as little as seven to eight minutes. It throws chemicals 250 feet and treats up to two million square feet with a full tank. For vegetable growers, a unit with taller nozzle masts is available for spraying over the tops of crops.
“The overall advantage of this machine is it is faster and fairly easy to use,” says Kurt Becker, executive vice president at Dramm. “A person loading trucks all day still has the time and energy to spray, even if it is nine o’ clock at night.”
Becker says the introduction of the TracFog has been timely for growers who are phasing out neonicotinoids because of the labor involved with increasing the frequency of alternative chemical applications. The time the TracFog saves makes it more doable.
“With all of the backlash against neonics, larger growers have flat out told us they are buying the machine because of the neonic issue,” Becker says. “They figure if they have to use the labor to spray neonic alternatives more often, they might as well cut back on it as much as possible. That is where the TracFog comes in.”
Hydra200G Offers Application Flexibility
A common problem in greenhouses is that growers will have many larger applications that they need to make, but also a lot of smaller applications. They need one machine that can do both.
The 200-gallon Hydra high-volume sprayer offers that flexibility with an optional, 20-gallon tank for spraying smaller areas. There are two valves for the unit, one for the source and one for agitation, Becker says, so growers can easily switch both of those valves from the 200-gallon tank to the 20-gallon tank to spray a corner of the greenhouse with a different product.
Another labor-saving option of the Hydra is the RemoteWind reel option, which activates a switch that causes the spray reel to start walking so a grower doesn’t have to drag a hose in front of him when backing down an aisle.
MistTime Controller Provides Made-To-Order Mist-Control For Propagation
The MistTime Controller is an upgrade of a previous Dramm unit that allows growers to be more selective about how they want to mist.
A text-based display and simple questions make programming easy, and six program times allow growers to customize variable misting to fit their needs. Valves can be programmed individually for flexibility, and the controller can operate as a time-based mist controller and a mist-cooling controller at the same time.
“Our goal with this controller was to offer something to growers with more accuracy and advanced features that they could get for the same amount of money if they were to go out and buy a time clock,” Becker says.
Dramm Water System Promotes Plant Health For Less Shrink
Growers know that pH and EC contribute to overall plant health. Dramm believes a third component is often overlooked — oxygen.
“Dissolved oxygen in the water can play a big role in the growth and health of plants,” Becker says. “Most growers don’t know that it is a measurement they should pay attention to.”
The Dramm water system uses ozone (O3) as a disinfectant that saturates water with high levels of dissolved oxygen, which helps with sanitation, and for some growers, has cut production time by as much as two weeks, Becker says.
A good example is Metrolina Greenhouses, which credits ozone treatments with aiding in reducing timing and adjusting the schedules for most of its plants and delivering healthier and happier plants to the stores. (See “Talking Shop: Metrolina’s Quest For Clean Water” at bit.ly/metrolinawaterquality).
“We really believe this is the next stage in precision growing,” Becker says. “We have found that with this system, we can not only prevent loss, we can also improve yields.”
For more information on Dramm products, visit dramm.com.