June 17, 2008

Essential Equipment

If you think about it, there has been a huge increase in tools and instruments available to greenhouse growers during the last couple of decades that vary from large instruments like greenhouse control computers, to more portable instruments that help with day-to-day monitoring of plant growth. This article outlines some of the portable instruments available today and advantages and disadvantages of each. In many cases, these instruments can save you money by avoiding production problems, reducing the amount of outside testing that needs to be done and helping in immediate problem solving. How many times would you like to know your pH and EC immediately to decide what to fertilize with at that moment? What is your plant temperature? Is your media temperature what you think it is? New instruments available today can answer these questions.  Infrared Thermometers Temperatures are rarely what we think they are! This is especially the […]

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June 16, 2008

New Product Shorts

The St. George Company: Super Vapor The Sulfume Sulphur Vaporizer is an effective and economical way to control powdery mildew, blackspot and Botrytis in roses and other flowers. One Sulfume will treat 1,076 square feet. Used for an eight-hour period at night, it vaporizes 2 grams of rock sulphur. The heat plate has constant temperature, and voltage is independent. PARsource Light Solutions: Lighting The Way The new 1000-watt, 240-volt digital electronic e-ballast with microprocessor from PARsource Lighting Solutions is an energy-efficient light that is up to 17 percent brighter than magnetic ballasts while drawing up to 8 percent less energy. The PARsource digital e-system uses a microprocessor, which enables it to automatically power both MH and HPS lamps while giving the proper input for maximum lumens per watt output and extending lamp life up to three times. Water-resistant, compact, lightweight at under 20 pounds and silent, the PARsource e-system is […]

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June 16, 2008

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

According to Matt Stuppy, president of Stuppy Manufacturing, “The Stuppy team designs System 2000 Classic greenhouses to the grower’s needs. It is critical to integrate systems and equipment that are appropriate to the location, growing method and plant type.” Built strong, the System 2000 is proven to withstand harsh wind and snow conditions. Gatorshield tubing provides a dependable frame for the structure with a long life expectancy. Growers can choose from twin-wall polycarbonate, corrugated polycarbonate, twin-wall acrylic or corrugated metal for the roof and sidewalls. When attached using the Stuppy glazing system, a reliable inside environment keeps plants safe. In addition, the Stuppy System 2000 aluminum gutter system allows growers to add structures as their operations grow. “Our engineers understand that climate demands vary across the nation. That’s why it’s so necessary to work with our customers to design a greenhouse structure that meets their local weather conditions, building codes […]

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June 16, 2008

New Product Shorts

GSI Horticultural: Plant Protection Moisturin is the newest concept in total plant protection. It is now available from GSI Horticultural of Bend, Ore. When sprayed on plants, Moisturin dries to a clear, flexible film that is so effective it blocks out insects and disease, while locking in plant moisture during stress from shipping, transplanting and extreme weather. Metamix: Innovative Design A winner of the Irrigation Association’s new product contest, the Metamix water-to-water injector was praised for its simple but innovative design, which judges identified as portable, easy to use and easy to maintain. The injector requires no energy other than what it obtains from water flow. Users can hook the injector to a computer system to electronically regulate the flow of fertilizer or other liquids in irrigation. EZ Shipper Racks: Top Shelf Quality The Quarter Pallet Display offers steel construction with a 900 lb. cap. It is easy to assemble, […]

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June 16, 2008

Can You Afford Free Heat?

A whole lot of progress is happening in alternative fuels these days, all around this great country of ours. The number of growers who have gone from researching to actually installing biomass boilers keeps rising, and the savings are no doubt significant no matter the fuel used. However substantial these savings have been from burning corn, tires, oat pellets, beans and the like may be, all can agree that they cannot compete with free heat.  Underground Sunshine One of the most interesting ideas to bubble to the surface lately has been aquifer heat storage. The diagram below shows how solar energy is being converted into hot water by running it through fine wire (FiWiHex) heat exchangers, and then stored in the ground for heat season. Obviously, your groundwater must be static, not too shallow, etc., but if conditions are right…presto! Free heat.  Feeding The Beast Ben Cecil, propagation and container […]

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June 16, 2008

New Product Shorts

New Registration Nufarm Americas Inc.: Mantra 1G and Mantra 2F, imidacloprid insecticide formulations for use in the greenhouse and nursery market, are now registered in the United States. Mantra is a 1 percent granular or 2 lbs. per gallon formulation of imidacloprid for control of piercing and sucking pests such as aphids, fungus gnats, leafminers, mealybugs, whiteflies and grubs. Maintain Saleability GSI Horticultural: Root-Zone is a new type of anti-transpirant that was developed to be drenched into the soil or media. One application keeps most containerized plants saleable for up to three weeks without additional watering. Use Root-Zone for shipping, display, transplanting, extreme weather conditions or water shortages.   Fiber Pots ITML Horticultural Products Inc.: Adding to the Kord Fiber Grow line, the new Coco Basket is made from natural coconut fibers woven into round and flat bottom styles and placed into a wire cage of weather-treated coating to enhance […]

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June 16, 2008

Bio-Inferno

Imagine how much money you could save if you could heat your greenhouses with oil derived from sawdust. Great Lakes Greenhouse in Leamington, Ontario, tried it without much extra effort to convert its existing boilers, thanks to the resources and know-how of Dynamotive Energy Systems Corp., based in Vancouver, B.C. Great Lakes Greenhouse, a 1.2-million-square-foot operation that grows seedless cucumbers, ran a four-hour combustion test, burning 2 tons of Dynamotive’s BioOil, a product made from forest and agricultural wastes. The operation, which normally uses Bunker C oil (No. 6 fuel oil), was able to burn the BioOil in its own boilers. According to Andrew Kingston, president and CEO of Dynamotive, further testing will be conducted, but he says the result of the combustion test substituting BioOil for a fossil fuel was encouraging. “During the testing, Dynamotive’s BioOil demonstrated very good ignition properties, steady flame characteristics and a low emissions profile,” […]

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June 12, 2008

Directing Light

In an effort to better serve its greenhouse customers, Polygal Inc., a world leader in technology and manufacture of polycarbonate multi-wall and corrugated greenhouse coverings, is expanding its greenhouse covering line to include polyethylene Polyheilos films. With this introduction, Polygal will able to offer the greenhouse distributor and OEM a broad range of greenhouse cover products from one basket.  New Films For Light Control The new Polyheilos films are proven multi-layer technology, durable and long lasting. The films offer a selection of solar energy, transparency and thermal insulation and are economically priced. Polyheilos films’ light diffusion characteristics greatly improve photosynthesis efficiency by improving light dispersion, which is especially important for self-shading, tall and trellised plants. In addition, an anti-drip additive in selected films raises the surface tension of the film to improve light transmission and prevent water dripping on plants, which reduces the incidence of disease. Also available are thermal […]

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June 12, 2008

New Product Shorts

New Plug Tray Blackmore Co.: The latest addition to the Blackmore line of plug trays is the 200 Star Deep. Fluted walls give cells more strength and act as a conduit to provide more oxygen to the root zone. This tray also has an angled label ramp and 3/4-inch turned over top to give it more rigidity. Each cell is 2 1/4 inch deep with a 20 cc volume. Smart Sensor Dynamax, Inc.: The WET-2 Sensor has crucial applications in precision horticulture and soil science research, usable in both soils and artificial substrates. It measures pore water conductivity (ECp) exceptionally and is often used as an indicator of the amount of fertilizer available for plant growth. It monitors nutrient levels and takes the guesswork out of monitoring crucial information quickly and accurately. Earlier Thrips Detection Biobest N.V.: ThriPher is a new pheromone that contains a sexual aggregation pheromone to attract […]

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June 12, 2008

A New Way To Bid

Bruce Knox’s first experience with West Auctions’ online capabilities came when he watched the public sale of another grower operation. “I had followed one of their auctions in California,” says Knox, president of Knox Nursery in Florida. “I had one of my truck drivers go to pick up and he said that everything sold. Everything!” Knox decided to use West Auctions when he had to get rid of equipment from his original location that was closing and being consolidated into another facility. He chose an online auction because he didn’t want to limit the number of people who could participate. Roughly 100 companies signed up for the Knox online auction, which improved Bruce’s chances of getting better prices for the equipment.  For The People The beauty of an online auction is the accessibility, says Daniel West, the general manager of West Auctions, Woodland, Calif. Growers have specialized items that only […]

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June 12, 2008

New Product Shorts

Cleary: TriStar 30 SG is a foliar insecticide with broad spectrum control of key, economically important insect pests like aphids, mealy bugs, caterpillars, whiteflies, thrips, leaf-eating beetles and leafminers. TriStar 30 SG is odorless, mixes easily and is compatible with many tank mix partners. It’s now available in 2-pound containers. www.clearychemical.com Easy Reading Northwest Horticulture: The Big Green Book, a 136-page catalog of information and suggestions to help growers succeed in the greenhouse and nursery, is now available. The book has information on quality cuttings, plugs and field-grown liners, and also details programs growers can use for their perennials, roses and ornamental grasses. A selection guide for choosing the right varieties and colors and a planning matrix are included, as well. www.northwesthorticulture.com Innovative Pot Pöppelmann: The TEKU Premium Pot comes in all common sizes and shapes and with multi-hole, three-level drainage to provide faster irrigation and better aeration. The facet […]

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June 12, 2008

New Product Shorts

Virus Detector Agdia: The HVX ImmunoStrip (above) detects Hosta Virus X and works in minutes. The ImmunoStrip has a guaranteed shelf life of one year and is portable, so tests can be administered before purchasing plants, accepting shipments or throughout the season. www.agdia.com Improved Fungicide BioSafe Systems: ZeroTol broad spectrum fungicide has been updated with a new label featuring a sleek front design and tear-away instruction booklet with helpful, easy-to-read rate charts. The redesigned label better describes the product for new users, and the instruction booklet is designed to help applicators access features and benefits of ZeroTol. www.biosafesystems.com Reglazing Solution DEGLAS: Acrylic sheet glazing systems offer protection against the yellowing of plastic greenhouse coverings like polycarbonate. Systems can be fitted to existing structures and are adaptable to any design requirements. They’re also guaranteed not to yellow for 30 years. www.deglasamericas.com Speedy Machinery JAVO: The JAVO Directomatic is a combination of […]

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