July 24, 2008

New Product Shorts

Versatility On Wheels Fold-A-Tools: Not your typical wheelbarrow, Fold-A-Cart collapses in seconds for easy storage. The multi-purpose cart’s tub is made of a puncture resistant, waterproof FLEXTRON material, and available in two sizes, 6 and 9 cubic feet capacities with 150 and 400 pound payloads, respectively. www.foldacart.com What Drought? Natural Industries: STASIS, unlike foliar spray anti-transpirants, is a drenched into the soil with irrigation water. Upon contact, plants naturally self-induce stomatal closing, enabling them to stay in a “drought resistant” state for up to three weeks or until normal watering is resumed. www.naturalindustries.com Planters Made Easy Ball Horticultural Company: Designed to be plantable, time saving, and reduce transplant shock for plants, My Easy Planters can be planted directly into containers. Its slotted design allows plants’ roots to grow out of the planter and into the container’s soil. My Easy Planter comes in a number of sizes and pot capacities. www.ballhort.com […]

Read More

July 22, 2008

Finding An Alternative

The alternative fuel trend has been around for while now and many growers have tried several fuels to heat their greenhouses. Some have proven efficient and effective, but others aren’t working out as well. We checked back in with Walters Gardens, Zeeland, Mich. The operation has used a biomass burner to supplement natural gas heaters for three years. Here’s a Q&A with Jim Bakker and Susan Martin of Walters Gardens Inc. on how the experiment has gone and what the future holds for alternative fuels. Q. What alternative fuels are you using (corn, wood, etc.)? What kind of fuel does it replace? A. Originally, we intended to use corn for fuel in our biomass burner. After working through some difficulties with that and trialing some alternatives, we settled on burning wood pellets. They work very well in our biomass burner, burning with little ash, smoke, smell or waste. Our biomass […]

Read More

July 22, 2008

Heating Up Your Place

Automated Ash Removal Bio-Fuel Technologies: The chain grate multi-fuel boiler turns existing waste into heat and reduces or eliminates fuel costs. Various sizes and types of fuels can be transferred through the system and burned in the boiler. Low maintenance is required, the boiler features automated control and it burns most dry organic wastes like corn cobs, flax shrive and rice hulls. www.bio-fueltechnologies.com Saving On Energy Total Energy Group: Holland Heaters are efficient, direct-fired units. Due to their clean burning, all heat can be sent directly into the greenhouse. There’s no need to use a chimney or exhaust stack, and the largest unit available has a capacity of 440,000 BTU. The heater has an air throw of 150 feet, and it can be hung directly from trusses. www.totalenergygroup.com Custom Engineered Hamilton Engineering: Pre-plumbed packages come complete with all the piping needed for system assembly. Pre-plumbing avoids the problems and delays […]

Read More

July 8, 2008

New Product Shorts

    Knocking Out Mites Arysta LifeScience: Shuttle 15 SC miticide is now EPA-labeled for broad spectrum control of citrus and European red mites, Texas citrus mites and all species of spider mites. Shuttle 15 SC contains the active ingredient acequinocyl, and it has demonstrated rapid knockdown of mites, acting on all life stages. www.arystalifescience.com      Dependable Injection Chemilizer: The CP33 chemical injector is a revolutionary, adjustable, non-electric water-driven injector ideally suited for nursery and greenhouse use and water chlorination. The CP33 precisely injects liquid fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides, biologicals and growth regulators. It provides an accurate injection, and it’s backed by warranty. www.chemilizer.com     Clean-Burning Boiler  Greenwood Technologies: The Greenwood Aspen Series outdoor wood-fired furnace has been designated as a qualified, low-emission wood boiler by EPA. The Aspen emits 8.4 grams of wood smoke emissions per hour compared to the more than 70 grams per hour produced by […]

Read More

July 7, 2008

Saving On Labor

1. Speedy Potting AgriNomix: The IM1800 potting machine can fill containers up to 19 1/2 inches, using the single or double interchangeable soil chutes. The standard vibrator below the potting bench helps ensure the desired compaction level. Mobility is provided with pneumatic tires, castor wheels and forklift guides. The IM1800 is capable of filling up to several hundred pots per hour.  www.agrinomix.com 2. Clean Technology Amiad Filtration Systems: The Electric Fertilizer Injector (EFI) can be linked to a main irrigation computer to deliver preset rates controlled by an in-line water meter to adjust injection rates based on actual flows in the irrigation system. The EFI computer features a built-in data logger that keeps precise fertilizer application records, and that can sound alarms when necessary. www.amiadusa.com 3. Controlling Your Surroundings Argus Control Systems: The new Titan control system is a comprehensive computer control system for managing growing environments, irrigation systems and […]

Read More

July 7, 2008

Hands-Off Production

Larger operations, like those on our Top 100 Growers list, are a good place to look for the types of automation that provide the quickest return on investment and make the greenhouse flow more smoothly.  Automation In The Green House For Casa Verde Growers, the greenhouse growing operation of Petitti Garden Centers, finding labor hasn’t been too much of an issue. Casa Verde is enrolled in the H-2A program, providing labor. Most workers return year after year. Still, automation has been extensive and includes six transplant lines, each staffed with four to five people, including one person to lay down plants in the greenhouse. Newer greenhouses are equipped with boom and flood irrigation, as well as a hanging basket carousel system. “There’s quite a bit we do here to minimize the labor as much as we can,” Casa Verde’s Wayne Cousins says. New this year is a pot dispenser that […]

Read More

June 25, 2008

John Deere Acquires Drip Irrigation Company

John Deere recently acquired T-Systems International, a major manufacturer of greenhouse irrigation applications with facilities in Australia, France and the United States. “T-Systems International is a highly regarded global company with premier products, experienced talent, strong distribution and established operations in key agricultural irrigation markets,” says Michael McGrady, president of John Deere Water Technologies. “The addition of T-Systems expands John Deere Water Technologies’ manufacturing footprint to three countries with marketing in over 60.” T-Systems International was established in 1977.

Read More

June 24, 2008

New Product Shorts

  Precise Concentration  HANNA Instruments: The HANNA Fertigation System provides precise control of pH and fertilizer injection. Unlike flow-driven systems of the past, the HANNA Fertigation System constantly measures the actual EC and pH of the water, allowing the system to add the precise concentration of fertilizer directly to the irrigation supply. The HANNA System is a bypass system, which does not limit line flow or pressure, allowing injection from 5 gpm up to 300 gpm accurately. The HI8000 series controller included with the system has 10 programs that allow the user to set various EC and pH values for a variety of plants. The system also controls up to 32 irrigation valves.     Controlling Growth Ball Seed and SePRO: For the spring 2007 season, SePRO’s plant growth regulator, A-Rest, will be available as a seed treatment on selected bedding plants in the United States exclusively through Ball Seed […]

Read More

June 24, 2008

Backup Generators: Easy Sleep Made Easy

I’ve done my share of risky things. I’ve been into extreme sports my whole life, jumped off high cliffs just for fun and driven way too fast for my own good (or the good of my insurance premiums). I’ve even dated a Sicilian girl with two large brothers before. These are just a few of the risks I’m willing to go on the record about — there’s more, believe me (and probably a lot more than I can recall!) One thing I’ve never willingly risked is my livelihood. Like many of you, I’ve been blessed to work in a field I am passionate about. Therefore, I make sure to keep my priorities straight and have backup plans in place in case something unforseen happens. Which brings us to the topic of generators. As the chart shows, a recent survey conducted in our Benchrunner e-newsletter showed that about one-fifth of growers […]

Read More

June 24, 2008

More Choices, More Solutions

    Summit Plastic Company continues to grow its JanorPot product line by including a low-profile 19-cm XL mum pot. This pot, as well as the rest of the line, is duo layered. The interior is black recycled material that provides an ideal environment for strong root development. The exterior layer is one of the standard colors (black, terracotta, white, green and gray) or a specific custom color (minimums required). An added feature is the punched dual-level drainage system designed for optimum water and aeration exchange for quicker rooting, which maximizes the plants’ growth potential.  Branding And Labeling Being aware of growers’ needs, Summit Plastic has designed this pot along with a low-profile fill tray specifically for the mum market. This system includes the low-profile pot (7.5-inch by 5-inch and volume of 2.63 quarts) and fill tray (1 by 3 configuration with an outside dimension of 5 ¾-inches by 22 […]

Read More

June 23, 2008

Geothermal Growing

Heating greenhouses without natural gas is the goal of many growers. Corn, electricity and even some grasses are being used as alternatives, but one heating method being used by at least three greenhouse growers in the United States uses an renewable alternative energy source that results in no emissions — geothermal. Geothermal heating uses water that is heated naturally by hot rocks as a radiant heating source in the greenhouse. Several areas in the Western United States have geothermal rocks to draw this source from, and Alex R. Masson Inc.’s location in Radium Springs, N.M., is one of the companies taking advantage of this clean heat. In the 1980s, exploration was going on all around the American west for sources of geothermal heat, but many were looking for a source that could heat water to 299ËšF or more, hot enough to generate electricity. That type of heat wasn’t found and much […]

Read More

June 23, 2008

Vision Of The Future

An increasing number of high-quality, large-volume marketing programs require pots that have an attractive look at the point of sale, standardized volumes according to the weights and measures rules and are excellent growing containers, as well as being affordable. Poppelmann Plastics has created a product line that would fill the niche — the TEKUVISION line. “We believe that our TEKUVISION line is the optimum answer to these requirements and will set the standard for these programs in the market,” says Poppelmann’s Jack Shelton. What makes the TEKUVISION different from other TEKU pots, says Shelton, is that TEKUVISION is printed completely from the top to the bottom, where traditional pots generally have an unprinted shoulder. TEKUVISION pots have a special shiny surface, too, and they’re printed with a photo-quality offset print, which is the highest available print quality on the market. Also, the TEKUVISION program has standardized volumes to comply with the […]

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]