September 29, 2009

Hamilton Unveils New System Separator

Hamilton Engineering, manufacturer of the EVO product line, has released its newest low-loss header: the Hamilton System Separator. The system separator allows for an infinite number of heating zones and loads with precise water temperature control, while maintaining boiler efficiency through turbulent flow. It functions as the heating system’s hub, removing air, separating flows and acting as the primary dirt and sludge separator. The system also eliminates pump conflict, extra boiler room plumbing and protects a grower’s boiler from fluctuating pressures, thereby increasing a boiler’s efficiency.   For more information on the new system separator, call Hamilton Engineering at 800-968-5530, e-mail [email protected] or visit

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September 29, 2009

Ohio Operations Active In Energy Program

Applicant Name Grant Requested Loan Requested Technology Mapleview Farms, Inc. $9,525   Greenhouse Heater Replacement Corso’s Perennials $74,897   Wind Turbine: Small Coram Flora (on behalf of Green Circle Growers)   $7,500,000 Biomass Fuel Switch Knitz Greenhouse $14,180 $19,851 Wind Turbine: Small Eagle Creek Wholesale $25,679   Wind Turbine: Small Mohican Gardens $20,000   Geothermal Heating System Webb Perennials $7,865   Biomass Fired Boiiler USDA awarded nearly $12 million in funding this year to Ohio growers and farmers as part of its Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), and at least seven Ohio greenhouse operations were recipients of USDA funds. REAP loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy-efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. More information about the REAP, which was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, is available at:  In Ohio alone, our industry received nearly two-thirds of the $12 million in funding awarded to businesses, […]

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September 11, 2009

This Year’s Top Horti Fair Products

Hundreds of new products and services are introduced at Horti Fair each year, but only a handful are nominated by an international jury of experts for the Horti Fair Innovation Award. This year, 18 products and services were nominated, including 10 in a Horti Tech category. Those products are as follows: – The Lumenex 5.60 from Boal Systemen, a new greenhouse roof that has an advantage of translucence in addition to the Double PVC system for improved energy control, water tightness and durability. – i4Energy from Hoogendorn, an application that collects all information relating to crops, climate and energy. – Hortiquip’s staking machine, which uses triangle laser technology to position stakes, including the automatic fitting of clips.  –The Knook ‘Waste to CO2’ from Knook Energy Solutions International, a process for the conversion of biomass into electricity, carbon dioxide and heat. – The Active Ventilation System (AVS) from van Dijk Heating, […]

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August 26, 2009

Monitoring Greenhouse Energy Effectively

The iGrow 400/800 series of controllers from Link 4 Corporation is designed specifically for easy transition in existing greenhouses using thermostats or early-generation controllers, while providing advanced control capabilities and affordability. The unique energy-use monitoring system gives growers real data on energy used by individual pieces of equipment for heating and cooling systems, showing energy cost savings and return on investment (ROI) for the controller. This is something thermostats or other controllers cannot do. Once a grower reaches his or her ROI with the controller, it will continue to show energy cost savings going forward. While traditional thermostats have often been used by growers to provide simple temperature control only, the iGrow 400/800 controllers offer a more advanced control over a wider range of equipment, such as: –Exhaust fans –Pad Pumps–Pad Louvers –HAF Fans –Fan Jets –Unit Heaters –Perimeter Heating Systems –Vents & Curtains –Other Equipment Each piece of equipment’s […]

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August 24, 2009

Slideshow: Aqualok

Read more about Aqualok.

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August 1, 2009

10 Tips For Improving Heating In The Greenhouse

Winter drafts. They’re enough to send chills down your back, especially when you start thinking about possible gaps, tears and holes in and around your greenhouse. Nothing’s worse than escaping heat and losing money at the same time. What follows are 10 action items that will help keep more of your heating dollars safely in your pocket as the temperature dips. Bob Fritchen, sales manager at Modine Manufacturing Company, says it best: “Make sure the first cold blast is not the first time you turn on your system.” 1. Reduce The Space Morris Brink, West Coast territory sales manager for TrueLeaf Technologies, says, “The first thing we encourage growers to do is reduce the heated area in the early spring.” When getting crops started, cordon off a small section of the greenhouse in a pot-to-pot tight environment, rather than using an entire greenhouse range, he adds. With micro-climate heating, “You […]

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July 23, 2009

Big-Time Bench Warmer

The Roll-N-Grow mat for benches and mesh for floors are new products TrueLeaf Technologies unveiled at OFA Short Course earlier this month. TrueLeaf developed the mat and mesh because many growers called the company over the last couple years asking for spot bottom heat. The Roll-N-Grow mat is made connecting tubing with holding rails that are spaced every 2 inches. Mats are ideal for most general greenhouse bench heating applications. Mesh heating for floors are designed similarly. Tubes are woven directly into a weed mat fabric and shipped on a roll just like standard ground cover fabric. Tubing is woven in on 3-inch centers, which provide even heating for gently warming crops like bedding plants, perennials in flats or potted crops produced on the floor. For more information on the warmers, click here.

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July 21, 2009

Netafim Introduces New Saddle Meters

Every irrigation system needs water and fertilizer delivered at the right time and in the right amounts, and metering is the only way to make sure water and fertilizer are delivered accurately. Enter Netafim USA’s new line of saddle meters. Their unique double magnetic transmission design allows meters to handle high loads of sand because only the impeller is in contact with the water. Repelling magnets enable accurate measurement across a wide range of flow rates, from very high to very low, while maintaining superior accuracy even after many years of operation. A three-year warranty begins from the date of installation. Other features of Netafim’s saddle meters are: – Accuracy of +/-2 percent without adding costly overrun bearings–Corrosion-resistant stainless steel saddle and bearings for long life–Programmable digital register for multiple pipe sizes/wall thickness–Dry pulse output for reliable communication For more information about saddle meters or other products from Netafim USA, […]

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July 20, 2009

Visser Transplanter Increases Speed, Efficiency

The PC 20 Gripper, an automatic transplanting machine Visser NA produces, is capable of transplanting 10,000 plants per hour with eight grippers sized for plug trays from 512 up to 50 cells. PC 20s can plant into bedding plant flats, pots, planters, baskets and other containers. Up to 10 plants per pot or cell can be planted. Many parameters can be changed while in operation, such as picking and planting height or machine speed. Additionally, 50 different plug trays and 50 different pots can be stored in the machine’s memory. For more information on Visser’s new transplanting machine or other new products from Visser, click here.

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July 7, 2009

Firm Acquires Stake In Interstate Transport

Palm Beach Capital (PBC) has purchased a significant but non-controlling stake in Interstate Transport, Inc., a logistics, logistics software and freight transportation company. “This is an exciting time for Interstate, our employees and our customers,” says Gloria Higham, Interstate’s executive vice president. “To be approached by a leading private equity firm and to close a deal in this economic environment speaks volumes of our years of operational excellence, steadfast aversion to debt, focus on profitability and dedication to sustainable levels of growth. Over the years, we have waited patiently for the right partner. We now have what we need to continue our amazing journey.” In 2008, Interstate spun its transportation management system, InMotion Global TMS, into its own wholly owned subsidiary, InMotion Global, Inc. The company has also been hiring staff and is expanding its Saint Petersburg, Fla., headquarters. “We are incredibly excited that Palm Beach Capital has partnered with […]

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July 1, 2009

Costa High On New Hydration System

AquaLok, a sustainable hydration system from Freedom Garden Products that releases water and oxygen when plants need them, found a suitor in Costa Farms, which will develop new brands using AquaLok technology across garden centers in North and South America. AquaLok technology allows consumers to expand the watering intervals for their plants, as it cuts the watering schedules in half. Some plant varieties can go a month between watering with the technology. AquaLok, developed by Joe Byles, CEO and president of Freedom Garden Products, will also be available to other indoor and annual plant growers.  “Although I graduated with an aerospace engineering degree,” Byles says, “I was fortunate to combine my engineering background and work with top landscape and irrigation industries to develop new technologies that improve water conservation and save time and money for consumers.” Costa Farms will make a presentation on Aqualok at Short Course in Columbus, Ohio, […]

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June 17, 2009

Advanced Automation

A one-gallon pot is no longer just a one-gallon pot for growers who serve the home improvement chains and mass merchandisers. Retailers want to differentiate with their own pricepoint, sticker and style, and that creates more costs for growers. For a grower like Garden State Growers, which serves Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart, keeping production for its three biggest accounts in separate bays is a priority. Shipping a Lowe’s pot to a Home Depot store is an obvious no-no, and general manager Roy den Hollander believes equipment and automation play a big role in Garden State’s accurate track record. “All three retailers want their logo on pots,” den Hollander says. “We’re looking to drop the starter pot into another pot that has the customer-specific information on it. Whether a machine strips one pot and puts on another or puts a pot over starter pots, the idea is to have pots […]

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