April 7, 2009

Hamilton Welcomes A New Engineer

Hamilton Engineering, based in Livonia, Mich., recently added Anna Elkina, a former HVAC and piping systems developer, to its engineering team. Elkina previously developed systems in schools and healthcare facilities, and she designed electrical panels for conveyors in Michigan, as well as in Latvia, her native country. For more information on Hamilton Engineering, click here.

Read More

March 23, 2009

The Irrigation Classroom

If you’re a Northeastern grower or somewhere in the Midwest, you’ve probably encountered floods on the rare occasion. If you’re a Southern grower or operating in California, drought has likely parched your plants over the last few years. If you’re growing anywhere else in the United States, you might have even had an unfortunate taste of both. Drought and floods alone are just the surface of grower water issues, though. Dig a little deeper, and regulation, recycling and general water treatment questions are bound to spout. But where are growers to turn with their irrigation questions? Why not educators, research institutions like the recently formed Water Education Alliance for Horticulture and industry organizations like the Irrigation Association? “There is a lot of ongoing research on water use, water requirements of plants and different ways to deliver water through irrigation systems. But water quality is also an issue as growers use […]

Read More

March 23, 2009

Online Only: Earth-Friendly Pots

OP47 Bio Pot Ball Horticultural Company and Summit Plastic Company have teamed up to offer the OP47 Bio Pot. Made from 100 percent renewable resources, it is completely biodegradable and compostable. Manufactured in Akron, Ohio, the pot is available in 4-inch and 6-inch sizes, fits existing automation equipment and handles, ships and stores like standard thermoform pots. Summit also produces PLA (polyactic acid) trays to fit both pot sizes. PLA is a sustainable material made from corn starch, but with the look and feel of plastic. www.ballhort.com Rice Hull NetPot Ball Horticultural Company and Summit Plastic have announced a new size of the Rice Hull NetPot. The 6-inch Rice Hull NetPot is made of renewable resources from sustainable plant fibers that degrade in soil over time. Summit produces PLA filling trays to fit the 6-inch Rick Hull NetPot. All three sizes are manufactured in Akron, Ohio. www.ballhort.com Biopots Biopots, available […]

Read More

March 13, 2009

Sub-Irrigation Delta T Style

Delta T now offers complete flood floor systems and bench packages tailored to your greenhouses. Systems are custom design and include pumping, filtration, valves, controls, installation, pipes and valves and supervision. Some of the benefits of a Delta T sub-irrigation system are: –It works with many crops;–Quick fill and drain lessens watering time and minimizes the risk of disease transfer;–No runoff means no pollution;–Water and fertilizer are not wasted;–Disease is reduced due to dry foliage;–Open design facilitates growing space for enhanced flexibility and rapid crop rotation;–Highly reliable, requiring little maintenance;–Promotes good sanitation;–Hand watering is virtually unnecessary;–Excellent payback in quality of crops, ease of operation, lessened maintenance, and environmental compliance For more information on sub-irrigation systems from Delta T, click here.

Read More

February 23, 2009

Online Only: Carts & Racks Showcase

Multi Purposed Ellis Products The new NC1 shipping cart/display rack can be used for shipping plants to customers, and it then folds out to be used as a display rack. It’s available in powder coating, zinc coating or hot-dipped galvanized. NC1s will fit on one pallet for cost-effective shipping. The Weight Lifter EZ Shipper Racks Heavy-duty rolling carts have a capacity of 1,400 pounds, and they’re perfect for larger nursery plants. EZ Shipper Racks offers them through one-way cart rentals, yearly leases and outright sales. Built To Last The Pride Group Pride’s 7600GC heavy-duty cart lasts for years. This cart sits on 2-inch-wide HD rubber casters, each with grease fittings. A spring-loaded tongue and a post add to the versatility. Pride stocks other styles and can custom make any cart to a grower’s specification. Consistently Reliable Wellmaster Carts This multi-purpose transportation cart measures at 22 inches by 59 inches. It’s […]

Read More

January 16, 2009

Superior Sustainability

Long before sustainability became a buzzword and corporations made headlines for using the right light bulbs, the Huntingtons made energy conservation a priority at Pleasant View Gardens in New Hampshire. But their latest innovations put even their own efforts in the shadows. Their new biomass boiler has the potential to reduce heating costs at their Pembroke, N.H., location by an incredible 85 percent. And their resume of energy- and labor-saving programs is helping their customers cut crop times by as much as 50 percent. Whatever it takes, Pleasant View puts the spotlight on increasing turns and decreasing costs. “We ask, ‘What can we do in our industry to be good to the environment and also save our grower customers and retailers money,'” says Carol Huntington, Pleasant View’s marketing manager. “We’re constantly being innovators and keeping our minds open.” Not Burning the Midnight Oil Installing a $2 million biomass burner and […]

Read More

December 9, 2008

Plant Partner Users Have A Handheld Option

Growers using Starcom’s Plant Partner can now plug in that technology to use SBI handhelds in the greenhouse to manage inventory. Users can sync their SBI handhelds, and 100 percent of their Plant Partner inventory is updated to the handheld. Users can use the handheld in the greenhouse to plant, count, cycle count and dump. And once users sync the handhelds back to the system, the changes are updated in Starcom inventory. For more information, visit www.sbinursery.com.

Read More

December 3, 2008

Automating Nutrition

The biggest trend I see for growers is the need to inject different fertilizer or different amounts of fertilizer to different crops, where and when they choose. Today, plant material varieties vary widely in their fertilizer requirements. No longer is it practical to run the same fertilizer and fertilizer concentrations throughout the entire greenhouse range. Looking to the future, growers will need dedicated fertilizer injectors for each crop so that they can have total flexibility to inject any fertilizer formulation, pesticide, plant growth regulator, etc., at will. All of this will be done through automated watering systems, thus eliminating watering errors and extra labor costs. Growers will continue to demand injectors that are highly accurate and reliable while also being easy to use and maintain. Companies that excel in customer service and offer advanced technology to obtain that service will become the leaders in this field. Long gone will be […]

Read More

December 3, 2008

Software Partnerships And Integration

Unity within our industry is a huge catalyst for growth so we are committed to expanding our value through strategic partnerships and integrations. Our most recent partnership and integration is with Ball Seed. It will allow growers to receive purchase orders (PO) from Ball Seed, confirm plantings of POs, verify weekly availability and receive shipments all electronically over the Internet. In the future, more growers will demand from technology the ability to produce better products more efficiently. This is why we believe handhelds and production management software are the future.  In a nutshell, handhelds increase inventory visibility while reducing labor and increasing accuracy. Production management software gives growers the ability to manage production based on historical data, not just intuition, which will ultimately help grow better product with less resources. Another piece of technology on the horizon for us is the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID). With RFID, truckloads of plants […]

Read More

October 29, 2008

Top Dramm Valve Now Weighs Less

The only complaints Dramm ever received about its brass shutoff valve surrounded its weight. The valve was simply a tad too heavy, but Dramm introduces the No. 22373 aluminum body shutoff to address this concern. The original product is still available in brass as product No. 300. The new-look valve is crafted with the same engineering, design and components, and the company says its new aluminum body valve is just as durable as the original. The fact the body of the valve is now crafted using aluminum reduces the weight by about one-third. For more information on the new valve or other Dramm products, visit www.dramm.com.

Read More

September 22, 2008

Transplanting Technology

Eight months into the job, Speedling Inc.’s president and CEO David Robbins has been exploring the potential to expand the plug producer’s global footprint in vegetables and ornamentals while bringing transplant technology to a wide range of agricultural markets. Based in Sun City, Fla., Speedling is owned by Wearn Brothers Ltd. (WBL) in Singapore. It has eight production facilities in the United States and 10 in China. In the U.S. ornamentals market, Speedling ranks at No. 5 on our Top 100 Growers with 5,322,000 square feet of greenhouse production, 37 percent of which is offshore. On our Top 25 Young Plant Growers, Speedling ranks at No. 4, producing more than 300 million plugs a year. Robbins came to Speedling from perennials powerhouse Northwest Horticulture in Mt. Vernon, Wash. Prior to that, he was COO and CFO of vegetable transplant grower Greenheart Farms in California for 13 years. He expanded that […]

Read More

September 22, 2008

Optional Flexibility

Businesses face a never-ending fight to control costs. For today’s growers, that means finding ways to minimize capital greenhouse expenses, energy costs and lost product. The Nexus Atrium and Dual Atrium technology addresses each of those concerns, providing growers with both cost control and flexibility in running their operations. “We are committed to understanding the needs of our customers, so we’re very much in tune with the cost and market pressures they face,” says Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales for Nexus. “That understanding enables us to develop technologies that address our customers’ key issues, whether to control energy costs or to increase protection of crops due to sudden weather change.” The Nexus Atrium and Dual Atriums offer distinct advantages, from energy efficiency to plant protection. The cornerstone of the Atrium’s design is a unique ridge vent that opens outward and upward from the top of the ridge, providing a […]

Read More