December 2, 2013
The Future Of Greenhouse Structures
We’re not predicting the end of the Quonset or big gutter-connect ranges. We do, however, believe you will see a dramatic change in the ways some traditional structures work, where greenhouses are built, or even what is considered a “greenhouse” in the future.
November 12, 2013
Two New Lighting Products You Should Know
iGROW is the next generation of agricultural lighting. After three years of development working with major universities, USDA and top-shelf commercial growers, iGROW is a true full-spectrum light developed specifically for agriculture. Using induction technology as its light source, iGROW has proven to produce higher-quality plants and have a higher yield-per-watt ratio than any other light on the market. Additionally, iGROW’s patent pending technology has created a grow light that lasts longer, uses less electricity and produces less heat than any other available light. iGROW is proudly American-made and American-owned. PL Light Systems’ newest electronic fixture, the 1000 Watt NXT2, combines a lightweight design and advanced reflector technology delivering the highest light output level and uniformity. The unique ballast design ensures a cooler-running fixture.
October 22, 2013
Greenhouse Heating System Upgrades Can Pay You Back
See a quick return on investment with energy-efficient heating projects.
October 10, 2013
Netafim’s Ultrasonic Octave Water Meter Includes No Moving Parts
Octave from Netafim is a technically-advanced ultrasonic water meter that utilizes double-beam sensors to monitor flow. Octave offers a new level of accuracy to measuring flow data because the water flow path is unrestricted; there are no moving parts or impeller, which typically propel a meter’s register. With no wear-prone parts, Octave’s ultrasonic technology reduces maintenance and improves long-term reliability. The meter features an easy-to-read, multi-line digital LCD display that provides immediate reporting and visual indicators for critical conditions. The display includes volume units, flow rate units, flow director, leak detector, alarms and errors and more. Octave is available in sizes from 2 inch to 12 inch and monitor flow ranges from 1 GPM to 5,500 GPM. The pulsed output module allows integration with most landscape controllers. For more information on the Octave, visit NetaFimUSA.com
October 7, 2013
LEDs Could Eventually Manipulate Scent, Color In Ornamentals And Edibles
With the ability to deliver specific light wavelengths with LED lights, growers, retailers and consumers could eventually manipulate the scent, color, flavor, postharvest life and other characteristics of ornamental and edible crops.
September 17, 2013
LEDs Reduce Costs For Greenhouse Tomato Growers According To Purdue Study
Tomatoes grown around LED lights in the winter can significantly reduce greenhouse energy costs without sacrificing yield, according to a Purdue University study. Cary Mitchell, a professor of horticulture, said the average tomato is shipped about 1,500 miles from warmer climates where they’re grown to cooler climates that cannot produce the fruit cost-effectively in the winter. That journey is costly, however, because tomatoes are picked green and ripen during shipping, decreasing quality and flavor. The lengthy shipping distance also adds to the industry’s carbon footprint. “It makes it really hard for the greenhouse industry to grow tomatoes well in the offseason. We’re trying to change that and make it affordable,” Mitchell said. Energy costs drive up prices for producers who might want to grow tomatoes in greenhouses in states that have winters inhospitable to growing food. Greenhouses must be heated, and shorter, overcast days require costly lighting. Mitchell and doctoral […]
September 16, 2013
4 New Irrigation Products
Delta T Solutions Flood Floors Delta T Solutions sub-irrigation systems can be customized to fit growers’ needs. Water is recycled and filtered to reduce disease instances. Sub-irrigation provides even watering and fertilizer distribution, resulting in uniform crops. Flood floors are highly compatible with in-floor heating systems, which quickly dry remaining water for disease control. DeltaTSolutions.com
September 12, 2013
Irrigating Crops On Demand
Automating greenhouse irrigation can be a huge labor saver, which is imperative for a modern greenhouse to be competitive. Irrigation controllers make it possible to automate greenhouse irrigation, but one usually programs the system to come on for a set time on a set schedule. Environmental conditions change such that a set program may be wrong more often than it is right. Sensing devices can be employed to aid a greenhouse operator making decisions about when to water, or one can take this a step further and let the substrate itself decide when it needs to be watered. Comparing On-Demand To Automated Irrigation Rather than have a set schedule programmed into a controller, it is possible to wire a moisture-sensing device, such as a tensiometer, between an electric valve and a source of electricity (transformer). When the moisture level in the substrate falls below a set-point, a switch on the […]
August 13, 2013
Google Glass: How Will It Impact The Greenhouse Industry?
You may be asking, what is Google Glass? It’s Google’s latest attempt to free data from desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, and place it right in front of your eyes. It’s a wearable computer with a glass screen that allows you to access the web, record video as you see it, perform actions based on voice activation and display useful information about what you’re looking at. It looks futuristic, like something out of a sci-fi movie, but will soon be upon us and used for both entertainment and productivity. But why am I writing about this on a greenhouse site? Because it could very well change the way we do business. Apps are just now being created by third-party developers and will be similar to smartphone apps. The difference is you will be able to control these apps using voice commands and you’ll see information displayed in front of your […]
July 11, 2013
GrowerLive Enterprise Software Can Be Used With Or Without Pay-By -Scan
If your standard, off-the-shelf accounting software program and Excel inventory sheets just aren’t cutting it anymore, maybe it’s time to look at a computer software program developed for commercial growers. Here are some software programs designed to handle the variables and intricacies that are unique to commercial growers’ businesses. The GrowerLive software program for growers was released by Innovative Technologies Group Inc. in 2007. The software program was developed for Rick Brown, owner of Riverview Flower Farm in Riverview, Fla., who produces annuals and perennials for The Home Depot. Since releasing the software the company has added additional growers, including citrus and sod producers. Most of the growers sell to big box stores, including Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Walmart. They also serve smaller retail chains and independents, including John Deere Landscapes, Meijer and Thrifty Mart. “GrowerLive is an inventory program and also a fulfillment-replenishment system for pay-by-scan,” says Innovative […]
June 10, 2013
Keeping Cool With Greenhouse Shading
Shade is used to reduce the temperature and light inside a greenhouse. The radiant energy from the sun can easily build up inside of a greenhouse during the summer and increase temperatures beyond the desired range for many crops. Additionally, light levels in the summer regularly exceed the usable level by plants, and excess light may result in high-light damage. However, the use of shade cloth can often reduce the air temperature by up to 10Â°F (5Â°C) and light levels by up to 75 percent or greater, depending on the shade material used. Two Ways To Provide Shade In A Greenhouse Â There are two primary options for providing shade: shading compound or whitewash; or shade curtains or shade cloth. Each of these options has distinct advantages and disadvantages, which warrant consideration when deciding how to reduce light and temperature in the greenhouse. Shade compound, or white wash, is a […]