May 28, 2013

Spectrum’s GreenIndex+ App Receives AE50 Gold Award From The American Society Of Agricultural And Biological Engineers

Spectrum Technologies, Inc. has been honored with the prestigious AE50 Gold Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The AE50 awards recognize leadership in technological innovation, with the Gold Award highlighting the best of the best among new products. A manufacturer of weather stations, data loggers, and handheld measurement devices, Spectrum was recently recognized as a Gold Award winner for the FieldScout GreenIndex+. The GreenIndex+ provides a better, more affordable way to manage the nitrogen needs of crops. Taking advantage of the latest advancements in technology, the GreenIndex+ App conveniently captures and processes images from a smartphone and instantly computes the DGCI (Dark Green Color Index) of plant leaves. By offering a digital image analysis of the leaves, the GreenIndex+ provides growers with an accurate, low-cost method for managing in-season fertility and helps deliver improved yield, lower nitrogen costs, and increased profits. All data is logged […]

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May 28, 2013

Dramm Introduces A New Nozzle To The Horticulture Industry.

Dramm introduces a new plastic commercial fan nozzle with a corrosion-proof head that creates a precise and gentle water pattern that won’t harm delicate plants and seedlings. The new nozzle is made from high-impact plastic, easily attaches to any hose and hose attachment and is available in bright blue for visibility. See the spray pattern live at the OFA Short Course, Booth #2147. Dramm has been making professional watering tools for nurseries, greenhouse growers and avid gardeners for over 65 years. Dramm strives to produce products that save time and energy while providing quality products that will last a lifetime. For more product images and or further information please contact Jessica Reinhardt at (920) 684-0227 or [email protected] Or, visit us online at ww.dramm.com.  

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May 13, 2013

Conviron Positions for Growth with Acquisition of Argus Controls

Controlled Environments Ltd. (Conviron) has announced the acquisition of Argus Control Systems Ltd. (Argus) of White Rock, British Columbia. The acquisition brings together Conviron, the world leader in controlled environments for agricultural research, with Argus, the North American leaderin advanced automated control systems for greenhouses and other horticultural applications. The integrationwill provide researchers and growers with more flexibility and increasingly powerful tools, and in so doing drivegrowth for both organizations in the plant science and biotechnology sectors. “Argus is well‐known in North America for its innovative and robust control systems,” said Steve Kroft, president and CEO at Conviron. “With the Argus platform, we have extended our capability to offer sophisticated pre‐engineered and customized control solutions that meet the increasingly demanding research applications and facility managementrequirements of our clients.” For decades, Conviron plant growth chambers and rooms have been chosen by many of the same leadingagricultural research centers that have used […]

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April 22, 2013

Diffuse Lighting Offers Multiple Benefits

Growers are increasingly learning that steering the greenhouse climate, which includes the related factors of light levels, temperature and humidity, can yield big gains in terms of plant quality and productivity as well as economic efficiency in heating and cooling expenses. Researchers, meanwhile, have been demonstrating that diffuse light plays an important role in achieving those goals. Materials have been developed to diffuse direct solar radiation, and use of diffuse light begins with an understanding of light and its behavior. Solar RadiationSolar radiation passes through the top of the atmosphere essentially unchanged by its passage through space. As it moves, it interacts with gas molecules, water droplets and aerosols and is gradually absorbed into the atmosphere. Radiant energy is converted into internal energy. It ceases to exist as radiant energy and heats the atmosphere directly. Very little of this absorption happens in visible wavelengths. Rather, ozone absorbs most of the […]

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April 19, 2013

DLICALC Online Tool Helps Growers Caculate Daily Light Integral

Managing all the different environmental and cultural aspects of greenhouse crop production can be an intimidating and daunting task, especially during the peak production season. But it’s necessary to produce a high-quality, salable plant. The greenhouse is full of moving targets, from root zone pH and EC to plant growth, air temperature and light. Managing each of the parameters of greenhouse crop production to consistently produce quality crops on time can be a challenge. Thankfully, the development of decision-support tools can aid greenhouse growers. GROCALC is a suite of electronic grower decision support tools that include ALKCALC, FERTCALC and PGRCALC. These programs are useful for making calculations related to greenhouse crop culture including water acidification requirements, fertilizer solution and plant growth regulator (PGR) mixing. However, there are few or no tools available to help make calculations related to the greenhouse light environment. Although light is frequently discussed in terms of […]

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April 19, 2013

Greenhouse Covering Released To USA After 29 Years of Success in Europe

Polydress SolaWrap has been successfully used in greenhouses in Europe for three decades and is now being introduced to America. SolaWrap’s unique qualities have led to reported tomato crop advancement in the Mediterranean of three weeks, in the wintertime, in an unheated greenhouse compared to standard greenhouse coverings. Its durability was tested in the extreme heat of Kuwait for a period of 25 years until the outbreak of war destroyed the testing facility. In that 25-year period, the original SolaWrap covering withstood the elements and remained effective. It did not yellow or become brittle or streak. In the converse climate of Manitoba, Canada, where temperatures drop well below freezing, a trial has been in process for more than five years. The results are very promising. Strawberries are growing in this SolaWrap greenhouse in January, and the only heating occurs at night during the dead of winter. However, the greatest test […]

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March 11, 2013

Greenhouse Equipment And Automation For Every Size Operation

Check out new equipment and automation products designed to make greenhouse operation easier and more efficient.

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March 5, 2013

How To Automate A Greenhouse At Any Size

Like other business owners who are constantly working to improve their companies, growers are looking for ways to lower their costs and become more efficient. Automation is one way they can do this. Here are some recent upgrades to equipment that have applications for all growers. Pot Filling Made EZ Mitchell Ellis at Mitchell Ellis Products Inc., in Semmes, Ala., is eager to talk about the company’s EZ Potter potting machine. Part of that enthusiasm is due to the fact that the EZ Potter system, which was introduced last year, is unlike any other potting machine on the market. Because Ellis thinks the machine is so unique, the company has filed a patent application. For example, EZ Potter is the first potting machine equipped with an indexing conveyor belt. “If a grower wants to plant up to 7-gallon containers, there are two rails to adjust as the pots are placed […]

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February 22, 2013

Primerus Products Acquires The SPOT-SPITTER From John Deere Water

On Feb. 1, 2013 Primerus Products, LLC, a startup company founded by veteran irrigation industry expert Jack Butler, acquired the SPOT-SPITTER product line. Butler has been a leader within Roberts Irrigation and John Deere Water for nearly 20 years where he played an important role in bringing the SPOT-SPITTER to its current market position. “Primerus Products is able to continue the high level of manufacturing quality provided by Roberts and Deere, while providing the core focus on nursery irrigation applications that is necessary to help its growers and dealers succeed,” Butler says. The SPOT-SPITTER nursery sprayer is the original spray stake invented by and by Jim Roberts, who founded Roberts Irrigation Products, Inc., in 1968. A product ahead of its time, it set a new standard for precision spray irrigation and quickly became accepted in nursery and greenhouse applications across North America. While there have since been imitations developed by […]

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February 17, 2013

Bella Verdi Farms Focuses On Efficient Greenhouse Vegetable Production

Darrell Joseph, owner of Bella Verdi Farms, in Austin, Texas, is seldom satisfied with the way he grows his lettuce, microgreens and herb crops. Since starting the business in 2004, he has constantly looked for ways to increase production in his 13,000-square-foot greenhouse and the 1,000 square feet of indoor controlled-environment space he operates. “I always try to be more efficient,” Joseph says. “Right now we are growing the same amount of microgreens in 4,000 square feet of space that we used to grow in 9,000 square feet. That’s just a matter of learning and figuring out how to do more with less. We took the existing space and converted it into something that is more efficient.” Joseph was involved with semiconductor manufacturing for 20 years and applies the principles from that industry to his growing operation. “Process-driven, very clean, solid technology, repeatable processes — it is my nature to […]

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February 5, 2013

LINX Greenhouses Division Adds An Affordable New Tier To Nexus Corp.’s Offerings

Nexus Corp. has long had a reputation as serving the high end of the commercial greenhouse structures market for both growers and retailers. That description is expanding a bit with the introduction of the company’s new LINX Greenhouses division. LINX offers a new tier of structures to the Nexus offerings — a freestanding product line with an affordable mix of three gothic- and arch-profile structures. Scott Thompson, a past NGMA President and active industry participant in sales, product development and customer service for more than 30 years, joined Nexus in August 2012 and brought his years of design and technology experience to help put together the LINX division and its products. We talked with Thompson for his perspective on the new division and what he thinks LINX will bring to the grower market. GG: How would you describe the LINX line of structures to a grower?Thompson: What was critical in […]

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February 5, 2013

Grants Make Greenhouse Projects Possible

With energy costs ranking as one of the top concerns for greenhouse growers, it makes sense to take advantage of energy-efficient equipment and technology. But the cost of retrofitting or adding new equipment can be cost-prohibitive, and it’s often difficult to come up with the capital, even though the savings will be greater in the long-term. This is where government utility-based incentives can play a role. These programs are designed to provide and incentive and make it more feasible for businesses to make investments in energy-saving technology, thus helping to reduce energy consumption overall. Incentives come in several forms. In order to take advantage of incentives, growers need to become educated about how to apply and what types of projects are usually funded. Types Of Incentives “There are three types of incentives,” says Dan Kuipers, solar sales manager and grant specialist with TrueLeaf Technologies, a supplier of heating, irrigation and […]

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