June 23, 2008

Complete Control

    •  Bartlett Instrument Company’s RWL model is designed for natural ventilation houses and features a new algorithm to tighten temperature control while minimizing roof motion. The roof inches open in response to rising temperature, allowing an open roof without waiting for a large temperature swing. The natural ventilation controllers still feature DIF, day and night temperature settings as well as two heat, two vent, alarm and timer/mister outputs.               •  Dutch controls powerhouse Hoogendoorn Automation has begun offering its arsenal of controllers to the U.S. market, including the Economic computer, the Enviro controller and Growlab sensors for tight control of crop conditions.             •  With six stages (including two for natural ventilation), greenhouse temperature and relative humidity level can be controlled with the TC7 controller, manufactured by Harnois Industries.             •  From […]

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June 23, 2008

New Product Shorts

    Thermal Efficiency  Sterling HVAC Products: The Shield is a stainless steel, tubular, gas-fired unit heater, ideal for greenhouse applications. Shield unit heaters provide safe, efficient and economical natural gas or propane heating for commercial greenhouse growers, with a tubular heat exchanger constructed of heavy-duty, 20-gauge, stainless steel for maximum protection against moisture and rust. The durable, tubular heat exchanger ensures efficient and uniform heat transfer and longer service life. Direct spark ignition and power venting reduce standby losses and provide more than 80 percent thermal efficiency. Environmentally Responsible  Horticultural Identification Products: HIP recently introduced the Repel paper substrate for nursery tags. Repel contains 30 percent post-consumer waste, making it an environmentally responsible choice. The Repel product resists curling and fading when exposed to water and sunlight. Unlike the glossy, plastic tags commonly used in the industry, printing on Repel paper produces a soft, matte image. The natural look […]

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June 23, 2008

Geothermal Growing

Heating greenhouses without natural gas is the goal of many growers. Corn, electricity and even some grasses are being used as alternatives, but one heating method being used by at least three greenhouse growers in the United States uses an renewable alternative energy source that results in no emissions — geothermal. Geothermal heating uses water that is heated naturally by hot rocks as a radiant heating source in the greenhouse. Several areas in the Western United States have geothermal rocks to draw this source from, and Alex R. Masson Inc.’s location in Radium Springs, N.M., is one of the companies taking advantage of this clean heat. In the 1980s, exploration was going on all around the American west for sources of geothermal heat, but many were looking for a source that could heat water to 299ËšF or more, hot enough to generate electricity. That type of heat wasn’t found and much […]

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June 20, 2008

Affordable Control

The Bartlett Wind and Rain Alarm (WR) works with Bartlett controllers, alerting them to adjust roof vent openings in response to outdoor conditions. Sensing wind speed and rain, the WR issues an alarm to the controller in excessive weather conditions based on settings chosen by the user. In addition to rain and wind detection, the WR offers optional humidity and outdoor temperature detection. The WR also collects and stores wind speed data and other weather information. The alarm offers a sensor for three levels of rain, as well as wind speeds, in both English and metric units. It can be programmed to respond immediately to changing weather conditions, or on a programmed delay. The WR can record the last wind and rain alarms and maximum wind speed for up to seven days. It also can be connected to warning lights, an audible alarm and an automatic dialer or Computer Interface Software […]

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June 20, 2008

New Product Shorts

Get A Tune-Up Dosatron International: It’s time to spring into action for the 2008 growing season. This fall is the perfect time for routine maintenance, including changing seal kits in injectors. To help out, Dosatron is offering a savings of 25 percent off all parts used in seasonal tune-up or repair through January 31, 2008. The company is also offering a special discounted price when a grower exchanges any injector for a new unit, either through their participating horticultural supply distributor or by contacting Dosatron. Heat It Up Modine Manufacturing Co.: Customers can now order a Hot Dawg-branded, low-profile, bent tube heater with a 100k and 125k BTU per hour output from Modine. The Hot Dawg brand of bent tube heat exchangers are lightweight, reliable and efficient. Designed for use with natural or propane gas, Hot Dawg unit heaters are easily accessible and backed by a 10-year warranty. In addition […]

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June 20, 2008

Controlling All Possibilities

Environmental controls can do a lot these days, so how can growers better utilize controls? What are the latest technologies and tips for greenhouse controls? We asked environmental controls suppliers these questions and here are their responses.  Open Systems & Keeping Histories by ALEC MACKENZIE Argus Controls  With the release of our new Titan control platform, Argus has extended the power and flexibility of automated equipment control for commercial growers. Our system anticipates the need for new ways of operating greenhouses to minimize energy and water use, and for increasing productivity. It is designed to handle the new structures, equipment and growing practices that we foresee will be needed in response to increasing energy costs and tighter margins. Accordingly, we have taken an open systems approach to configuring equipment control capabilities. We provide a suite of programs designed for the efficient operation of typical greenhouse equipment such as vents, mixing valves, etc. […]

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June 20, 2008

Lightweight Champion

    PBH’s size, shape and bulking properties produce optimum air-filled pore space, water-holding capacity and drainage for greenhouse and container production. It can be blended with peat, bark and coir to produce substrates suitable for a wide range of growing requirements.  Because PBH is lightweight and compressed when packaged, it requires less storage space and reduces handling and freight costs. It is uniquely processed to ensure purity and is sized, cleaned and subjected to a series of heat treatments that sterilize the rice hulls and render any residual rice kernels, weed seed or disease pathogens non-viable. Minimal dust improves the mixing environment. “Our employees really like that it is less dusty, and because of the compressed bale, there is less handling,” says Jim White, owner of White’s Greenhouse in Godfrey, Ill. “I like that the compressed bales require less storage space. I can have more material on hand with […]

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June 20, 2008

New Product Shorts

Warm & Toasty Roberts-Gordon LLC: The Combat by Roberts-Gordon AT-Series indirect-fired air turnover units offer heating flexibility with filtration and cooling options, as well as 48-inch extension sections to increase unit height to user specifications. The units are available in air volumes from 45,000 to 100,000 CFM. Portable Climate Management Climate Control Systems: The Climate Manager works with multi micro computers, processing many instructions per second. This computing power gives the grower the ability to access their climate computer with a Web browser or Blackberry. Work Smarter Onset Computer: The Temperature/RH Smart Sensor for Hobo Weather Station Products is now available. It provides reliability in humid environments and improved temperature accuracy over previous models. This version features a replaceable RH sensor and Smart Sensor design that allows plug-and-play connection to weather stations. Green Light EYE Lighting International: The Hortilux LU250S/HTL/EN lamp features exclusive chemistry and global technology to deliver 30,500 […]

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June 20, 2008

Stick, Dribble And Drill

The new and unique Blackmore Dribbler makes it easy to prepare Ellepots for sticking, dibbling or drilling, hence the name, Dribbler. A new wiper attachment is now available for removing excess post-drilling soil when stepping up Ellepots. The sticking head makes a small hole to facilitate insertion of soft cuttings into Ellepots if necessary. A dibble head makes larger holes for transplanting from smaller trays and Punch ‘n Gro trays (PNG) such as the 324 or 432 PNG. Both of these heads also have an oscillation setting to enlarge the holes if necessary. The drilling head makes oversize holes to accommodate Ellepots for larger StepUP sizes such as the 288, 162 or 105. The Wiper is a special mechanical attachment that simply removes the drilled soil from the area around the Ellepot. This makes for a clean and pleasing appearance around the planted material rather than a cone of media. […]

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June 19, 2008

A Dose Of Precision

Seeking to improve chemical drenching applications, Dramm Corporation has redesigned its popular Chemdose precision drenching system. The new Chemdose 2 system can be worn on the chest or mounted on a small cart for portability. The CD2 connects to the hose from your injector or sprayer (under 100 psi) and accurately measures the solution into even, selectable doses with the push of a button. Push another button and the Chemdose 2 will meter out those doses on a variable interval basis. Utilizing the CD2’s digital controls, growers may select the amount of the dose, change the interval between automatic doses, count the doses made, set a maximum number of doses limit and even lock out the controls. The previous units operated well but were limited by their tank size, power requirements and hose lengths. The CD2 Chemdose eliminates those limitations by functioning as a hose end unit. The CD2 can be […]

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June 19, 2008

Easy Control

Link4’s iControl is a PC-based program designed to monitor and control up to 16 zones of iGrow1400 controllers. With a very simple layout and clearly defined buttons, it’s designed to make everything from changing setpoints, viewing historical graphs and data, adjusting equipment settings and all other controls a breeze. Unlike some systems that require a PC to be running at all times, iControl simply changes settings on your iGrow1400. The benefit of this design is that each iGrow1400 works independently, making the iGrow/iControl combination an extremely robust, flexible and easy-to-use system. “From the beginning, we’ve really focused on making greenhouse controls easy for our customers,” says Dan Thompson, vice president at Link4. “iControl and Smart Cool are right in step with that philosophy.” Another notable new item from Link4 is the Smart Cool feature found on the iGrow1400. Understanding that every greenhouse absorbs, retains, and releases energy differently, the Smart […]

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June 19, 2008

Get Equipped

Automatic Pick-Up Javo: The JAVO Compact is a linear robot which, among other things, is suitable for completely automatic pick-up and placing of high and top-heavy potted plants and/or the accurate placing of plants into a plant carrier. The revolutionary and patented underneath return principle is the base of a very reliable function. High capacity (up to 600 strokes per hour) takes care of the efficiency. For more information, go to www.javonl.com. Steady Flow  Rapid Automated Systems: By mechanizing your sticking crew, you can get a substantial increase in productivity. Built from aluminum, steel and stainless steel, this sticking line will provide a steady flow of material to your crew. It is available in 8, 16 and 24 station models and can be integrated with your filler or Ellegard machine. For more information, go to www.rapidautomated.com.  Versatile Dibbler  Blackmore:  The new Blackmore Dribbler with Wiper prepares Ellepots for sticking, dibbling […]

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