May 6, 2009

Hauling Plants Around

The Back Forty ATV-friendly utility trailer is a new development from Southern Outdoor Technologies. It 48 inches wide by 72 inches long and is very maneuverable yet still big enough to haul tremendous loads. The frame is 14-gauge welded steel, which is attached to a heavy-duty five-lug hub and axle. A 2-inch coupler is standard along with a removable tongue and stake pockets to allow custom sides and rear panel. “This is not one of those tiny, inexpensive trailers you find at the big box stores,” says Mark Bernegger, vice president of sales and marketing for Southern Outdoor Technologies. “We are pleased how the Back Forty turned out. Priced at $399, I doubt you will find a better value anywhere.” For more information on Southern Outdoor Technologies, click here.

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April 28, 2009

Setting The Standard

Throughout most of the last century, most greenhouses were wooden structures with small glass panes that transmitted light poorly. Crop turns were down compared to today’s standards because sunlight didn’t reflect as well, and structure rot and wear was a legitimate concern because most greenhouses had wood frames. Such is not the case today. Greenhouses got a makeover in the early 1980s, partly because home improvement and mass merchandiser chains saw the potential in selling plants. Plant selection wasn’t superb then, but availability was good. And consumers now had more garden centers to choose their plants from. Because of the explosion in live plant production, growers needed bigger, more efficient facilities to accommodate the needs of a market gone wild. Growers went from glass to acrylic or plastic for their coverings, and they chose steel as their infrastructures material rather than wood. Among the first companies to realize the potential […]

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April 28, 2009

Plant Marketing LLC Has Expedited Expansion

Larry Reit’s advice for other growers looking to expand their operations is simple. “Get started as early as you can,” he says. If you can’t, follow Reit’s lead for expedited expansion. Reit, the owner of Plant Marketing L.L.C., embarked on a 226,800-square foot expansion project in Eau Clair, Wisc., with Nexus Corporation late last year. Reit bought land in September, broke ground on the project in mid-October and completed it the first week of January despite poor weather and a holiday schedule that pulled half the building crew away for two weeks. Teamwork kept the project on track, as did Reit’s will to complete the project on time. Reit even participated in the construction project himself. “He was so hands on, in fact, that one Sunday, he was 14 feet in the air on a forklift helping lift trusses into place,” says Al Sray, the Midwest sales manager for Nexus […]

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April 14, 2009

Svensson’s Newest Harmony Screens

The newest products to the Harmony series of screens answer two of a grower’s greatest needs: efficient heating and cooling and more profitable production. The market got its first look at the Harmony series during 2008 International Horti Fair, when Svensson introduced five solar reflection Harmony F screens with proven high-performance cooling. Testing at a specialty rose greenhouse in southern Spain clearly showed that the Harmony F screens, designed in an open structure integrating Svensson’s white strips, offered high-grade light diffusion, which allows for greater light delivery into the canopy. The results were excellent cooling, improved plant quality and shortened production time. Now, the newest Harmony screens deliver the cooling and light diffusion benefits, plus the power for energy savings, helping growers manage rising heating costs and overall production expenses. All Harmony products are made from flame-retardant materials and meet the highest safety standards. The new Harmony solar reflecting and […]

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April 7, 2009

New From Blackmore

Check out Blackmore Company’s new 18-count stackable tray for 60-millimeter Ellepots. Blackmore Company has introduced a new Ellepot 18-count stackable tray for 60 millimeter Ellepots. The stackable design allow trays to be nested for shipment when empty, but stacked when filled with Ellepots without compressing the pots. The new tray is No. 6 RPS and may be recycled. Contact Blackmore at 800-874-8660 or go to www.blackmoreco.com for more information.

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April 7, 2009

Hamilton Welcomes A New Engineer

Hamilton Engineering, based in Livonia, Mich., recently added Anna Elkina, a former HVAC and piping systems developer, to its engineering team. Elkina previously developed systems in schools and healthcare facilities, and she designed electrical panels for conveyors in Michigan, as well as in Latvia, her native country. For more information on Hamilton Engineering, click here.

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March 23, 2009

Online Only: Earth-Friendly Pots

OP47 Bio Pot Ball Horticultural Company and Summit Plastic Company have teamed up to offer the OP47 Bio Pot. Made from 100 percent renewable resources, it is completely biodegradable and compostable. Manufactured in Akron, Ohio, the pot is available in 4-inch and 6-inch sizes, fits existing automation equipment and handles, ships and stores like standard thermoform pots. Summit also produces PLA (polyactic acid) trays to fit both pot sizes. PLA is a sustainable material made from corn starch, but with the look and feel of plastic. www.ballhort.com Rice Hull NetPot Ball Horticultural Company and Summit Plastic have announced a new size of the Rice Hull NetPot. The 6-inch Rice Hull NetPot is made of renewable resources from sustainable plant fibers that degrade in soil over time. Summit produces PLA filling trays to fit the 6-inch Rick Hull NetPot. All three sizes are manufactured in Akron, Ohio. www.ballhort.com Biopots Biopots, available […]

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March 23, 2009

The Irrigation Classroom

If you’re a Northeastern grower or somewhere in the Midwest, you’ve probably encountered floods on the rare occasion. If you’re a Southern grower or operating in California, drought has likely parched your plants over the last few years. If you’re growing anywhere else in the United States, you might have even had an unfortunate taste of both. Drought and floods alone are just the surface of grower water issues, though. Dig a little deeper, and regulation, recycling and general water treatment questions are bound to spout. But where are growers to turn with their irrigation questions? Why not educators, research institutions like the recently formed Water Education Alliance for Horticulture and industry organizations like the Irrigation Association? “There is a lot of ongoing research on water use, water requirements of plants and different ways to deliver water through irrigation systems. But water quality is also an issue as growers use […]

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March 13, 2009

Sub-Irrigation Delta T Style

Delta T now offers complete flood floor systems and bench packages tailored to your greenhouses. Systems are custom design and include pumping, filtration, valves, controls, installation, pipes and valves and supervision. Some of the benefits of a Delta T sub-irrigation system are: –It works with many crops;–Quick fill and drain lessens watering time and minimizes the risk of disease transfer;–No runoff means no pollution;–Water and fertilizer are not wasted;–Disease is reduced due to dry foliage;–Open design facilitates growing space for enhanced flexibility and rapid crop rotation;–Highly reliable, requiring little maintenance;–Promotes good sanitation;–Hand watering is virtually unnecessary;–Excellent payback in quality of crops, ease of operation, lessened maintenance, and environmental compliance For more information on sub-irrigation systems from Delta T, click here.

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February 23, 2009

Online Only: Carts & Racks Showcase

Multi Purposed Ellis Products The new NC1 shipping cart/display rack can be used for shipping plants to customers, and it then folds out to be used as a display rack. It’s available in powder coating, zinc coating or hot-dipped galvanized. NC1s will fit on one pallet for cost-effective shipping. The Weight Lifter EZ Shipper Racks Heavy-duty rolling carts have a capacity of 1,400 pounds, and they’re perfect for larger nursery plants. EZ Shipper Racks offers them through one-way cart rentals, yearly leases and outright sales. Built To Last The Pride Group Pride’s 7600GC heavy-duty cart lasts for years. This cart sits on 2-inch-wide HD rubber casters, each with grease fittings. A spring-loaded tongue and a post add to the versatility. Pride stocks other styles and can custom make any cart to a grower’s specification. Consistently Reliable Wellmaster Carts This multi-purpose transportation cart measures at 22 inches by 59 inches. It’s […]

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February 6, 2009

Plainview Growers’ Biomass System And Alternative Fuels Are Funded By Grants

Northeastern growers ushered in the new year by firing up alternative energy systems. These include biomass burning boilers for heat and wind turbines to generate electricity. In January, Arie van Vugt, owner of Plainview Growers fired up his new 500-hp Crone boiler from Holland in Allamuchy, N.J. While he is burning wood pellets this year and next, he will be planting 200 acres of miscanthus grass and harvesting his own fuel to pelletize and burn. “Arie and his sons are independently minded,” says Peter Stuyt, vice president of Total Energy Group, who worked with Plainview on the project. “Their goal is to take themselves off the grid, grow their own crop and add pelletizing. They are talking about buying another boiler already.” In addition to supplying the boiler technology, Total Energy Group has been providing growers access to equipment to produce their own fuel, as well as connections to fuel […]

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January 16, 2009

Superior Sustainability

Long before sustainability became a buzzword and corporations made headlines for using the right light bulbs, the Huntingtons made energy conservation a priority at Pleasant View Gardens in New Hampshire. But their latest innovations put even their own efforts in the shadows. Their new biomass boiler has the potential to reduce heating costs at their Pembroke, N.H., location by an incredible 85 percent. And their resume of energy- and labor-saving programs is helping their customers cut crop times by as much as 50 percent. Whatever it takes, Pleasant View puts the spotlight on increasing turns and decreasing costs. “We ask, ‘What can we do in our industry to be good to the environment and also save our grower customers and retailers money,'” says Carol Huntington, Pleasant View’s marketing manager. “We’re constantly being innovators and keeping our minds open.” Not Burning the Midnight Oil Installing a $2 million biomass burner and […]

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