Metrolina Greenhouses keeps a 4-acre barn filled with wood chips, sourced locally from forestry waste and old pallets. The barn can hold a three- to four-week supply of wood chips

February 18, 2016

Metrolina Greenhouses Has Improved Heating Efficiency With Green Solutions

Sustainability started to become a keyword in the horticulture industry in the late 2000s, when growers began converting their heating systems to greener options to save on energy costs and reduce their impact on the environment. However, there haven’t been many operations that have invested in sustainable solutions on as large of a scale as Metrolina Greenhouses at its Huntersville, NC, headquarters. Six years later, the operation is still fully committed to its biomass heating system and everything it entails.     Metrolina first fired up its Vynke biomass system from Belgium in 2010. The four wood boilers cover 95% of the operation’s heating needs at its 201-acre main location in Huntersville, NC, and Metrolina still maintains its traditional heating systems for back up and to provide flexibility of resources. Wood chips are sourced locally, with the majority from local forestry activities like wood harvesting companies and developers. The other […]

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January 19, 2016

Tips For Cherry-Picking The Right LED Lighting Solution For Your Greenhouse

If you want to find the right LED lighting solution for your greenhouse, start with these tips from top lighting manufacturers.

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Feature Image Cob 700 (NewLux)

November 28, 2015

15 LED Lighting Solutions For Your Greenhouse

Narrowing in on the right LED lighting product often comes down to considering your specific crop needs and growing requirements to see what works best for your application. Here are 15 LED products to take into account when choosing the right fit for your greenhouse.

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October 27, 2015

How Dallas Johnson Greenhouses Is Simplifying Shipping

Two years ago, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses, a 61-acre operation in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and No. 21 of Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers, was struggling to get its orders out. With its range of potted annuals, there were so many skus that it was impossible to get enough carts into the shipping greenhouse, and the crew couldn’t get orders processed fast enough. As a result, the operation was consistently pulling orders until midnight every night during the busy shipping season, says President and CEO Todd Johnson. So Johnson got together with Arie Van Wingerden at Cherry Creek Systems to discuss his problem, and what they came up with has changed everything, Johnson says. Inside one of Dallas Johnson Greenhouses’ existing structures, the team installed a shipping system made with Echo-Veyors, the popular cable conveyor system designed by Cherry Creek Systems. The system was placed right in the front of the greenhouse, […]

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Tidal Creek Growers

October 24, 2015

Five Tips For Successful Use Of Boom Irrigation Lighting On Long-Day Ornamentals

Michigan State University Extension shares five tips to help growers use boom irrigation lighting more effectively to accelerate flowering of long-day ornamental crops.

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October 8, 2015

Industry Standards For Greenhouse Lighting On The Horizon

As the use of LEDs has risen among greenhouse growers, so have concerns about the best way to measure and compare the many LED light products across the market. As a result, the lighting industry is responding to a call for greater transparency and the development of standardized measuring and testing methods.

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September 28, 2015

11 Products For Precision Greenhouse Growing

These new options in equipment, automation, structures, lighting and software are designed to help growers run their operations with efficiency and accuracy and at a lower cost.

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Laura Drotleff

September 25, 2015

Growers Solve Problems With Precision Horticulture

My dad’s hands are covered with sores, nicks, scratches and bruises. It’s the ongoing reward — or drawback — of his ingenuity, as he’s constantly wrenching on equipment or constructing new innovations that will help him get work done more efficiently on the farm. As a kid, I would always marvel at his toughness, and how he would barely notice a new wound, shrugging it off as he kept working, driven to complete his work and bring his idea to fruition. He’s still at it today, and his hands tell the story of the many projects he’s completed over the years. I’m guessing many of you can relate, and your hands look similar to my dad’s. After all, ingenuity is the name of the game in this business, where creative thinking to solve problems often leads to revolutionary solutions that automate production, save labor and cut costs. That’s easy to […]

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September 24, 2015

AgriNomix Helps Keepsake Plants Cut Labor Costs With Automated Trimming

Keepsake Plants reduced labor for trimming Hydrangeas from 60 people to 28 by automating the process with AgriNomix Venti Trimmers.

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September 24, 2015

4 Dramm Products That Put The Precision Into Growing

When accuracy counts, the right tool makes all the difference. New products from Dramm put tools in growers hands to get the job done efficiently.

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The single cells move forward, still grouped with their pack, until the pack is positioned in front of an arm that can pick up several individual plants at a time

September 24, 2015

How Spring Meadow Nursery’s Custom Sorting Machine Keeps Its Young Plants Uniform

The Michigan-based nursery uses automation to cut apart trays of immature plants and regroups them into new trays of similar-sized plants.

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Figure 3. Sole-source lighting in a multi-layer vertical growing system utilizing hydroponics for vegetable production.

September 23, 2015

MSU Offers New Greenhouse Lighting Online Course For Growers

  Michigan State University Extension is now offering a non-credit, pre-recorded online course on greenhouse and horticultural lighting. The lighting course is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested learning about the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity and in duration. It provides introductory to moderately-challenging content primarily based on experiments performed at Michigan State and Purdue Universities. This is the second course in the College of Knowledge Online series offered on the national Extension website. The first course was Floriculture Root Zone Management, also available online. What Growers Will Learn From Taking This Course The 3-hours of pre-recorded lecture and video demonstrations are divided into seven units. The first and second units cover the properties of light and its importance for plant growth and development. The third unit discusses how light quality influences stem extension and flowering. The fourth unit of the course teaches […]

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