May 26, 2009

Online Only: Web Savvy Resources

Growers looking to build new structures now have a plethora of resources at their fingertips. Some of the leading structures companies have revamped their websites with tools to make structure shopping a breeze. Rough Brothers, for example, recently enhanced its website with an “Ask Our Experts” forum. Here, customers have the opportunity to ask any questions they might have about structures and related equipment. Questions can be about anything from design and construction to operation and maintenance. Visitors to the website also have the option of browsing questions that have already been asked and posting responses. In addition, an online parts catalog is included on the website. It features some of the most popular components and equipment, such as cutain systems, cooling and ventilation, glazing and lighting, among others. “We are trying to make our website more of a tool for growers,” says Bill Vietas, commercial division manager for Rough […]

Read More

May 22, 2009

Mitsubishi Offers ‘Stimulus’ Rebate On Forklifts

Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks just announced an economic rebate stimulus package for customers. Through the end of June, Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks will offer a “Right on the Money” rebate on any purchase, lease or long term rental for three forklift truck models. The ‘Right on the Money’ rebate includes: – $1,000 toward all Class I, electric counterbalanced Mitsubishi forklift trucks –$1,000 toward all Class V, internal combustion pneumatic tire Mitsubishi forklift trucks –$1,500 toward all Class IV, internal combustion cushion tire Mitsubishi forklift trucks “Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks remains committed to supplying reliable and affordable equipment to customers, which we know is particularly important during tough times,” says Jerry Sytsma, general sales manager for Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks. “The ‘Right on the Money’ rebate reinforces that commitment by providing a means for companies to save money while enhancing business operations.” Rebates are available at local Mitsubishi forklift truck dealers through June 30. For […]

Read More

May 13, 2009

Online Only: Have A Plan Before You Expand

With interest rates so low, could now be a good time for growers to reinvest in their businesses or even expand, if market growth supports it and they have strong banking relationships? We asked Charlie Hall, an economist who holds the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, for his take on the situation. Is there opportunity in a down economy? He says expansion can be feasible if it’s done for strategic purposes. “In a recent webinar and my presentation at ANLA’s Management Clinic about surviving the economic downturn, I said the number one action point is conserving cash,” Hall says. “Expansion is not conserving cash. It’s not the time to get bigger for bigger’s sake, but if you have a clear strategy in mind and a firm idea the market can support, expansion can be feasible.” Before moving into a new trade area, growers need to ask […]

Read More

May 12, 2009

Slideshow: Plant Marketing L.L.C.

Plant Marketing, a Top 100 growing operation based in Eau Claire, Wisc., completed a 226,800 square foot expansion project in two months. Here’s a look at the project from start to finish, from mid-October 2008 to the first week of January.

Read More

May 12, 2009

Build Now?

In a year when everyone is hunkering down, some growers are seizing opportunities and using the economy to their advantage. “In this down economy, there are a lot of opportunities for growers to save money when building,” says Gordon Van Egmond, U.S. sales representative for Westbrook Greenhouses in Canada. “Trades people are easier to come by and the pricing is usually more attractive. Keep in mind growers are expanding for tomorrow, not today.” Low interest rates and incentives make the opportunity hard to pass up, says Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales for Nexus Corp. “So many of our Nexus customers tell us that if they had to choose between investing in the stock market or the family business, hands down they would invest in the family business!” Warschauer says. “At least they have control of financial decisions. Coupled with new tax incentives, potential grants and interest rates at an […]

Read More

May 12, 2009

New Greenhouse Structures And Coverings

Nexus Corporation The Nexus Zephyr will help you optimize the ability to hold outside ambient temperature in the greenhouse without use of mechanical cooling. Combining the latest Zephyr atrium vent and side/end-wall vents eliminates the need for fans and reduces electrical costs. CO-EX Corporation Recently introduced, the Click 16 is ideal for glazing and roofing and the four-wall construction of Click 16 is thermally efficient, and saves on heating and cooling costs. The four walls also add to the strength of the sheet, yet offer high light transmission. Click 16 is opaque to UV rays. Polygal The new Polyheilos polyethylene greenhouse covering is a multi-layer film technology with selected additives, which provides the right combination of strength, versatility and light transmission. The film has unique mechanical-optical and thermal characteristics to ensure greater durability. Amerilux International The Lexan Softlite Thermoclear Plus multiwall sheet and the Lexan Softlite Corrugated polycarbonate sheets offer […]

Read More

May 12, 2009

Environmental Controls Go Gold

A party is certainly in order for the team at Priva. The kind of party that only comes around every 50 years. “We’re still in the planning process,” says Priva communications specialist Pam Cicci. Priva, a company that specializes in climate control for greenhouse horticulture, got its start back in 1959 under the name Valk & Prins, in De Lier, Netherlands. Back then, this family-owned business began as an importer of heaters for greenhouses. Swift, successful years followed its inception. With innovation in the forefront, Valk and Prins changed its name to Priva in 1965. In the mid-1970s, Priva took a huge technological step and developed the first process computer for horticulture. Now celebrating its 50th year in the industry, the independent Priva is a global market leader in process control for the protected horticulture industry. It devotes 35 percent of its personnel to product development and now has six […]

Read More

May 12, 2009

Growing’s Cooler Side

American Coolair Corp. The Type AL Aluminum Fan was designed to stop concerns about red dust in the damp atmosphere of greenhouses. The Type AL fan has a spun orifice, stamped aluminum blades bolted on a cast aluminum disc and Coolair’s same exclusive drive assembly. Power is applied through V-belts directly to the propeller with blade load concentrated directly over the bearings to eliminate overhang bearing load. Coolerado Corporation The Coolerado C60 boasts easy maintenance, low water use and no chemical refrigerants thanks to its new, patented thermodynamic cycle. An integrated electrical panel and control system, along with tool-less air filter access, makes this air conditioner user-friendly. Also, the C60’s cooling capacity increases as the temperature increases. Ludvig Svensson, Inc. The latest products in the Harmony series feature a closed-structure design that integrates Svensson’s proprietary white strips to go beyond cooling. The white strips offer high-grade light diffusion, which allows […]

Read More

May 12, 2009

Greenhouse Films: Stretching It

While polyethylene film may last a lifetime in the landfill, the time it spends housing your plants isn’t nearly as impressive. Traditionally, most long-life greenhouse films are guaranteed for four years. “What growers are trying to do is stretch it,” says Nick Calabro, Northeast regional sales manager for Klerks Hyplast, Inc. “Growers are going an additional year, getting five or six years with the film before replacing it.” At What Cost? It’s important to remember a few things if you decide to go this cost-effective route. One, dirt build up can be detrimental. Each year the film is on the structure, it can lose up to 2 percent of its light transmission. For those growers utilizing a top layer and an interior layer to improve heat retention, Calabro says four surfaces are now susceptible to dirt. This build up can be a result of a number of things: pesticides, exhaust, […]

Read More

May 12, 2009

Online Only: The Next Step In Greenhouse Films

Greenhouse film doesn’t last forever. Well, maybe in landfills, but it definitely doesn’t last that long on your greenhouses. Just think about it. If you don’t recycle that film, it’s going to sit in a landfill somewhere, taking up space. The thought of going that route sends chills up Karen Kritz’s spine. Kritz heads up the plastic recycling program for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. She created the program back in the mid-90s when then N.J. Secretary of Agriculture, Arthur Brown, urged Kritz to do something about the large volume of greenhouse film piling up in the Garden State’s landfills. Kritz used Oregon and Florida’s programs as a reference point. She saw that both programs had their own shortcomings, so she made the necessary adjustments for her burgeoning New Jersey operation. In 1997, the first greenhouse film collection took place. Now, “We average over a half-million pounds a year […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More