June 17, 2008

Cool Pad

VAL-CO recently introduced the PolAIR EZ-Cool water return trough and evaporative pad support system, which has the latest in evaporative pad cooling technology. This proprietary system uses a unique, raised, ribbed pad tray molded directly into the trough, which keeps the pad elevated above the drain holes, allowing for 100 percent drainage with no spill-over from the tray. The design of PolAIR EZ-Cool trough greatly reduces installation and maintenance time with its quick-connect coupler and full 8-inch cleanout at the end of the trough. The PolAIR evaporative pad cooling system is a complete system available in two models: Extended, which allows for the pad material to be offset from the wall by 10 inches, and Flush, for direct installation onto the wall. To help get the air to flow through your house consistently and evenly, VAL-CO also manufactures a complete line of fans to best suit growers’ specific applications. For […]

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June 17, 2008

New Product Shorts

  Super Sprayer  Chemilizer Products: The C3P Chest Pak Sprayer is the ideal alternative to cumbersome backpacks and other portable chemical spraying systems. The C3P accurately mixes chemicals and water as you use it with its patented chemical turbulator. The C3P is designed for accurate, reliable injection of a broad range of chemicals and often eliminates the need to dilute and premix chemicals. The C3P has been ergonomically designed with frontal access for ease of use and better weight management. It reduces fatigue, is easy to maneuver and allows changing from one chemical to another quickly and easily.   No Clogs  Miller-Leaman, Inc.: Patented stainless-steel Thompson Filters prevent sprinkler nozzles and micro-drip emitters from clogging in various irrigation applications. Available in Type 304 and Type 316 stainless steel, the efficient filters feature a large conical screen element, offering substantially more screen surface area versus traditional Y-strainers and basket strainers. The […]

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June 17, 2008

Maintaining Efficiency

P.L. Light Systems provides more than just lights. LightCare is the company’s service and maintenance division, offering full service maintenance and testing for lighting systems. LightCare was initially created to help educate growers about how to maintain their lighting systems to maximize efficiency, saving growers money and keeping optimum crop performance. LightCare can help show growers how much money can be saved by employing small maintenance measures. The LightCare team measures and tests installations in the field and at the laboratory in order to gain insight into the efficiency and quality of the installations’ components.

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June 17, 2008

New Product Shorts

Going Solo SOLO, Inc.: There is no noise, no emission and no need to fill with fuel or manually prime a pump with the new SOLO backpack battery pressure sprayer model 416. The sprayer is powered by a rechargeable, maintenance-free and easily replaceable impact-resistant 12-volt lead-gel battery and produces an impressive spray performance with a 12-volt pump and large five-gallon tank capacity. The unit has wide, padded carrying straps for added comfort and an unbreakable 20-inch-long spray wand and 59-inch-long spray hose for effortless arm movement. It also features adjustable pressure and output volume with a two-step toggle switch–22psi at step one, 40psi at step two. Concise Control Fine Americas, Inc.: Growers looking to produce better ornamental crops now have a new product available with the introduction of Concise plant growth regulator from Fine. Concise produces compact and marketable plants across a broad range of ornamentals, including bedding plants, flowering- […]

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June 17, 2008

Money-Back Guarantees?

Maybe the old adage is true – they just don’t make things the way they used to. But a lot of times, they make them better. Greenhouse equipment, like transplanters, continue to grow in their flexibility and options, while innovations like heat retention curtains and plug tray fillers solve problems in new ways. It all sounds great, but who has the capital for it all? Return on investment is an elusive calculation with all the moving parts of a greenhouse, but how do suppliers suggest growers approach equipment purchases?  Why Automate? As owner of a greenhouse and (presumably) the highest paid staff member, your time is valuable. “A lot of growers don’t consider their time being worth enough, or don’t consider their time at all,” says David Steiner, vice president of the Blackmore Co. Whether it’s your own time or the time of employees, labor is a tricky equation for growers. […]

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June 17, 2008

In Control

Wadsworth Control Systems’ STEP Up control has more functionality than the traditional STEP 50A control but costs less. STEP stands for Single Total Environmental Control, and in addition to loads of new features, the STEP Up has a new look, too. “We decided to update our classic line of STEP controls, and the newest member has a very different look,” says Gary Dean, president of Wadsworth Control Systems. The new device also uses a flat panel touch pad layout with a wheel to navigate, which is high tech yet simple, according to Wadsworth’s Vice President Patricia Dean. “This easy-to-use design appeals to both traditional STEP 50 and STEP 500 users who are accustomed to the easy turn knob, but it is also familiar to iPod users who click and select by turning a virtual wheel,” she says. To make room for the STEP Up control’s push button override switches, the […]

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June 17, 2008

Essential Equipment

If you think about it, there has been a huge increase in tools and instruments available to greenhouse growers during the last couple of decades that vary from large instruments like greenhouse control computers, to more portable instruments that help with day-to-day monitoring of plant growth. This article outlines some of the portable instruments available today and advantages and disadvantages of each. In many cases, these instruments can save you money by avoiding production problems, reducing the amount of outside testing that needs to be done and helping in immediate problem solving. How many times would you like to know your pH and EC immediately to decide what to fertilize with at that moment? What is your plant temperature? Is your media temperature what you think it is? New instruments available today can answer these questions.  Infrared Thermometers Temperatures are rarely what we think they are! This is especially the […]

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June 16, 2008

New Product Shorts

The St. George Company: Super Vapor The Sulfume Sulphur Vaporizer is an effective and economical way to control powdery mildew, blackspot and Botrytis in roses and other flowers. One Sulfume will treat 1,076 square feet. Used for an eight-hour period at night, it vaporizes 2 grams of rock sulphur. The heat plate has constant temperature, and voltage is independent. PARsource Light Solutions: Lighting The Way The new 1000-watt, 240-volt digital electronic e-ballast with microprocessor from PARsource Lighting Solutions is an energy-efficient light that is up to 17 percent brighter than magnetic ballasts while drawing up to 8 percent less energy. The PARsource digital e-system uses a microprocessor, which enables it to automatically power both MH and HPS lamps while giving the proper input for maximum lumens per watt output and extending lamp life up to three times. Water-resistant, compact, lightweight at under 20 pounds and silent, the PARsource e-system is […]

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June 16, 2008

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

According to Matt Stuppy, president of Stuppy Manufacturing, “The Stuppy team designs System 2000 Classic greenhouses to the grower’s needs. It is critical to integrate systems and equipment that are appropriate to the location, growing method and plant type.” Built strong, the System 2000 is proven to withstand harsh wind and snow conditions. Gatorshield tubing provides a dependable frame for the structure with a long life expectancy. Growers can choose from twin-wall polycarbonate, corrugated polycarbonate, twin-wall acrylic or corrugated metal for the roof and sidewalls. When attached using the Stuppy glazing system, a reliable inside environment keeps plants safe. In addition, the Stuppy System 2000 aluminum gutter system allows growers to add structures as their operations grow. “Our engineers understand that climate demands vary across the nation. That’s why it’s so necessary to work with our customers to design a greenhouse structure that meets their local weather conditions, building codes […]

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June 16, 2008

New Product Shorts

GSI Horticultural: Plant Protection Moisturin is the newest concept in total plant protection. It is now available from GSI Horticultural of Bend, Ore. When sprayed on plants, Moisturin dries to a clear, flexible film that is so effective it blocks out insects and disease, while locking in plant moisture during stress from shipping, transplanting and extreme weather. Metamix: Innovative Design A winner of the Irrigation Association’s new product contest, the Metamix water-to-water injector was praised for its simple but innovative design, which judges identified as portable, easy to use and easy to maintain. The injector requires no energy other than what it obtains from water flow. Users can hook the injector to a computer system to electronically regulate the flow of fertilizer or other liquids in irrigation. EZ Shipper Racks: Top Shelf Quality The Quarter Pallet Display offers steel construction with a 900 lb. cap. It is easy to assemble, […]

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June 16, 2008

New Product Shorts

New Registration Nufarm Americas Inc.: Mantra 1G and Mantra 2F, imidacloprid insecticide formulations for use in the greenhouse and nursery market, are now registered in the United States. Mantra is a 1 percent granular or 2 lbs. per gallon formulation of imidacloprid for control of piercing and sucking pests such as aphids, fungus gnats, leafminers, mealybugs, whiteflies and grubs. Maintain Saleability GSI Horticultural: Root-Zone is a new type of anti-transpirant that was developed to be drenched into the soil or media. One application keeps most containerized plants saleable for up to three weeks without additional watering. Use Root-Zone for shipping, display, transplanting, extreme weather conditions or water shortages.   Fiber Pots ITML Horticultural Products Inc.: Adding to the Kord Fiber Grow line, the new Coco Basket is made from natural coconut fibers woven into round and flat bottom styles and placed into a wire cage of weather-treated coating to enhance […]

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June 16, 2008

Can You Afford Free Heat?

A whole lot of progress is happening in alternative fuels these days, all around this great country of ours. The number of growers who have gone from researching to actually installing biomass boilers keeps rising, and the savings are no doubt significant no matter the fuel used. However substantial these savings have been from burning corn, tires, oat pellets, beans and the like may be, all can agree that they cannot compete with free heat.  Underground Sunshine One of the most interesting ideas to bubble to the surface lately has been aquifer heat storage. The diagram below shows how solar energy is being converted into hot water by running it through fine wire (FiWiHex) heat exchangers, and then stored in the ground for heat season. Obviously, your groundwater must be static, not too shallow, etc., but if conditions are right…presto! Free heat.  Feeding The Beast Ben Cecil, propagation and container […]

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