January 6, 2010

Dramm Hires Les Evans

Dramm has hired Les Evans as its new technical representative for commercial sales. Evans has 15 years experience in the commercial horticulture industry. He has a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering with a concentration in water, soil and environmental engineering from North Carolina State University. With his background, he has been uniquely positioned to help clients understand their company’s resource allocation and help them become more sustainable, profitable businesses. “Les has been a great resource in the horticulture industry,” says Kurt Becker, director of marketing and sales at Dramm. “His wealth of experience and business objectives will be a great addition to our company.”     Evans will help clients on both the distributor and end-user levels for most of the Northeastern United States.  “It is a real honor to be a part of the Dramm Corporation,” he says. “I have had the pleasure of working with many of their people […]

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December 28, 2009

Open Your Mind To Open Roof

Why spend thousands of dollars every month to cool a greenhouse with exhaust fans when nature can do it for free? An open-roof greenhouse can drive down your energy costs significantly–but for many, this option has been priced out of reach.      No More Teardown It is no longer necessary to tear down a 30-year-old building and invest in a new structure to increase plant quality or decrease operating costs. With a Sun Ridge vent, it is possible to transform an outdated greenhouse into a modern, efficient growing environment. From pansies to poinsettias or wholesale to retail, the Sun Ridge is an upgrade for any greenhouse. A little money goes a long way with the Sun Ridge. Requiring the same motors as a traditional roof vent, the Sun Ridge more than doubles a grower’s vent opening without doubling a grower’s investment in equipment.  Are you planning to change your […]

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November 11, 2009

New Product: Sprayer Calibrator

Innoquest, designers and manufacturers of sensors and measurement instruments, unveils the SpotOn sprayer calibrator, a handheld electronic flow rate checker for spray nozzles. The SpotOn sprayer calibrator quickly and accurately measures flow rate, which helps to reduce the likelihood of inaccurate chemical application by validating nozzle performance. “Recent research indicates fewer than 5 percent of chemical applications have been within 5 percent of desired target rates,” says Bill Hughes, president of Innoquest. “This inaccuracy can cost growers between $2 and $12 per acre, which adds up over time and acres. The SpotOn Sprayer Calibrator helps reduce these inaccuracies.” Simple to use and maintain, the battery-powered SpotOn Sprayer Calibrator can be operated with one hand and is ideal for use in determining sprayer output and indicating when spray nozzles are worn or in need of replacement. After being placed under the nozzle tip, the SpotOn sprayer calibrator displays measurements in 10 […]

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October 29, 2009

Analyzing Soil Humidity Remotely: Your Sixth Sensor

Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trust–mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need. Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring system called Sensiplant that determines the soil humidity of your container crops, so you can trust your watering regime a little more. Humidity Matters Sensiplant measures moisture in pots as a percentage, says Pete Hendriksen, North American sales manager at Hoogendoorn. “It determines what the moisture percentage is in a pot with various media, pot sizes and growing conditions. It’s wholly and specifically designed for the greenhouse industry.” Sensiplant is made up of sensors, wireless routers, an access point (your greenhouse computer) and a software program that analyzes measurements. Simply explained, Sensiplant sensors/transmitters are placed inside the […]

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October 28, 2009

McConkey Names Mountain States Sales Rep

Lance Lawson is McConkey Co.’s new sales representative for Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Northern Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. He has 13 years of sales and horticultural experience. Lawson previously worked for Bio Huma Netics, where he was responsible for management and sales of fertilizers and plant-growth managers. Before Bio Huma Netics, he was the district manager for Sun Gro Horticulture. McConkey is the exclusive West Coast distributor of Sun Gro products. “We are excited to have Lance join our sales team,” says Ed McConkey, CEO and president of McConkey Co. “He has a wonderful reputation and record for increasing sales for every company he has represented. We’re confident he will do the same for McConkey.” For more information about McConkey Co., visit its website at McConkeyCo.com.

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October 28, 2009

Container Centralen Adopts RFID System

Shipping rack supplier Container Centralen (CC) is adopting an RFID system for tracking its equipment. The system’s rollout will include about 150 locations and 250,000 CC shipping racks that CC supplies to horticultural customers throughout North America. CC’s RFID project spanned two years of preparation, which culminated in the selection of two highly accomplished and innovative RFID supplier-partners. Those partners are: –Fluensee, Inc. will provide the asset tracking and visibility software to leverage RFID technology in optimizing the use of the tagged CC racks. Fluensee is also responsible for the solution implementation and support services. –RF Code, Inc. will provide the active tags, readers and infrastructure necessary to enable CC’s rack tracking initiative. Fluensee and RF Code have previously worked together on RFID implementations, and integration of their services and products is already well established. “Our team is excited to be moving forward with this groundbreaking technology because our customers […]

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October 28, 2009

Hamilton Adds Regional Sales Manager

Adam Stratton, who has more than 15 years experience designing and building automotive paint finishing facilities, including HVAC and boiler room systems, industrial ovens and part washers, is the new regional sales manager of the West Coast for Hamilton Engineering. Stratton has experience in a variety of aspects of project management, including project concept to proposals, engineering, equipment specification, procurement, construction and commissioning. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in thermal systems design from Lawrence Technological University. He has also recently become a licensed professional engineer in Michigan. For more information on Hamilton Engineering, visit its website at HamiltonEngineering.com.

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October 28, 2009

J&D Redesigns Shaded Pole Blowers

J&D Manufacturing has redesigned its Shaded Pole Blowers for greater efficiency and added corresponding aluminum mounting brackets. Shaded Pole Blowers have adjustable damper doors that are designed to inflate the plastic layers of double poly-sided greenhouses to create a layer of insulation. The round blower VBM60-PC is 0.74/0.89 Amp with 60 CFM. The square VBM148-1PC is 1.40/1.68 Amp with 148 CFM. Both models are available with or without a cord and ship individually packaged. Motors have thermal overload protection and carry a one-year warranty. The corresponding square and round brackets allow the blowers to be mounted to a support post or tube for easy installation. For more information, visit the Horticulture/Recirculation page at JDMFG.com. Call J&D Manufacturing at 1-800-998-2398 or e-mail [email protected] to find a dealer near you.

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October 19, 2009

Transplanter Tuneup

There are steps just about any grower can take to upgrade the efficiency of their plug transplanting line. And you don’t have to invest $150,000 in a new automated transplanter to do it. In fact, a basic set-up–a conveyor for hand-transplanting, a watering tunnel and a tagging machine–can improve the quality of the transplants and the efficiency of the process and lead to significant labor savings over a season.   Even the smallest growers can automate to some extent by having the material passing by on a conveyor as employees hand-transplant plugs into finish trays, says Rapid Automated’s Al Denning. “The belt speed sets the pace for the crew and they aren’t working on their own individual pace.”   Once the basics are in place, growers can increase their volume and continue to control labor costs by adding incremental pieces to the puzzle. “One piece of automation at a time […]

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October 19, 2009

Monitor Moisture Wirelessly

Growing up, you learn that relationships are built on trust. Growing in a greenhouse, you learn the relationship you have with your plants is also built on trust – mostly trusting yourself when it comes to knowing what your crops like and don’t like, need and don’t need.  Hoogendoorn Growth Management developed a wireless monitoring system called Sensiplant that determines the soil humidity of your container crops, so you can trust your watering regime a little more.  Humidity Matters Sensiplant measures moisture in pots as a percentage, says Pete Hendriksen, North American sales manager at Hoogendoorn. “It determines what the moisture percentage is in a pot with various media, pot sizes and growing conditions. It’s wholly and specifically designed for the greenhouse industry.”   Sensiplant is made up of sensors, wireless routers, an access point (your greenhouse computer) and a software program that analyzes measurements. Simply explained, Sensiplant sensors/transmitters are […]

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October 13, 2009

Horti Fair Still Quite The Show

The exhibitor count at this year’s Horti Fair is down dramatically from 2008. One exhibitor I spoke with mentioned the number of exhibit halls being used is down from 11 in 2008 to seven this year. Still, if horticulture is your field, Horti Fair is the place to be. I spent the day visiting as many of the exhibit halls as I could, but the majority of my time was spent in Horti Fair’s House of Technology. Willem van der Loo, Horti Fair managing director, piqued my interest when he spoke of growers making an additional living producing and selling electricity. I was curious how growers were producing electricity and how many of them were selling it. Aroen Bechan, a representative from a Dutch electric company called Endon that helps growers sell electricity, offered me some answers. Bechan explained how many Dutch growers have turned to combined heat and power (CHP), also […]

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October 13, 2009

The Coolest Product On The Show Floor

Labor is a killer, right? It might even be the biggest issue your greenhouse operation deals with. But if you’re a Phalaenopsis orchid grower, a Dutch company called Hortiquip has designed a big-time labor-saving machine for you. The machine is actually a staking machine, and it uses laser technology to position stakes to support plants, including the automatic attachment of clips. You have to see it to be totally wowed by its capabilities, and I’ll post video on GreenhouseGrower.com/GGTV in the coming weeks featuring Remco Hmmerlaan, one of the staking machine’s developers, giving a demonstration. For the time being, imagine this: You’ve just potted your orchids with a growing media. Perhaps you prefer a media like bark that’s thick, jagged and unwilling to take stakes from greenhouse workers on a line without a fight. The staking machine simplifies the process, moving potted orchids along a conveyor line to a point […]

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