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 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 19, 2008

New Equipment Woes

Does this font make me look fat? OK, don’t answer that. If you think you notice something different about Greenhouse Grower this month but can’t quite put your finger on it, you’re right. We have new fonts. It’s a mini-makeover, a grooming. The new fonts are just the visible part of a huge overhaul going on here at Meister Media Worldwide. Our editors, artists and production staff have switched page layout software, moving from Quark to InDesign. And it hasn’t been a completely painless process. There are new keystrokes and workflows to learn, but ultimately this move brings us into the 21st century. Even though we all knew that this switch would increase productivity and add a few tools that would make work easier, I think we all resisted, at least a little. Yes, new is good, but it also takes a while to get used to. Now I have a […]

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June 19, 2008

New Product Shorts

Long-Term Control BASF: Insignia fungicide from BASF offers long-term control for a broad spectrum of ornamental diseases, including anthracnose, leaf spots, powdery mildew, downy mildew, rusts, scabs, Rhizoctonia, Pythium and Phytophthora diseases and more. The residual control Insignia delivers can help reduce labor and material costs. High Stature BASF: Stature DM fungicide from BASF uses a distinctly different mode of action to deliver protective, curative and antisporulant activities on problem pathogens like downy mildews, as well as Phytophthora root, crown and stem diseases. Stature DM also controls Sudden Oak Death, performing very well against it in research trials. Shining Star Cleary: TriStar 70 WSP from Cleary is a foliar insecticide with broad spectrum control of key, economically important insect pests like aphids, mealy bugs, caterpillars, scales, whiteflies, thrips, leaf-eating beetles and leaf miners. The new TriStar 30 SG formulation will make this insect control even easier to measure, mix and […]

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June 19, 2008

Fueling Expansion

Generation X growers are ready for tomorrow’s challenges. Pictured from left are John Bonner, sister Jill Cain with husband Todd Cain. When we visited, they were growing Easter crops in new greenhouses.In less than 10 years, Eagle Creek Growers in Mantua, Ohio, has emerged as a model mid-sized operation with room to grow. The modern growing operation was founded in 1998 by Jill (Bonner) Cain about an hour’s drive southeast of Cleveland. She was fresh out of college, implementing a business plan she drafted for a course at Ohio University. Up until recently, Eagle Creek’s primary customer was Eagle Creek Garden Center, an upscale destination garden center she opened in nearby Bainbridge four years later. In 2003, her brother, John Bonner, and husband, Todd Cain, took over the wholesale operation while Jill focused most of her time on retail. Both John and Jill are third-generation entrepreneurs in our industry. Their grandfather, […]

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June 19, 2008

New Product Shorts

Super Model GF Delta T Solutions:   Shield tubular gas-fired unit heaters are the newest product offering in Delta T Solutions’ full line of greenhouse heating systems. Also called the Model GF, this complete heating system offers innovative features that make it a long-lasting and reliable source of safe, efficient and economical greenhouse heating. Some key product features of the Model GF heaters include stainless steel construction designed to withstand moisture and chemicals and a tubular heat exchanger for significantly longer life.  Tough Tunnel Agra Tech: The Agra Hi-Tunnel is designed to cover very large areas and can withstand high winds and pounding rain. Constructed of high tensile galvanized tubing, installation is simple and requires no concrete foundation. In addition, the Agra Hi-Tunnel can be covered with Poly or cloth for further protection from undesirable climate and insects. Sure Thing CH2O Incorporated: CH2O has introduced its patented Sure Flow irrigation […]

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June 19, 2008

Who’s Your Mr. Fix-It?

To be honest, greenhouses mystify me. I don’t know how all of you out there do it. So much can go wrong–disease and pests, nutrition–and that’s just problems with your plants. Your structures are a whole other story. There are so many things to worry about–not enough heat, too much heat, expensive heat, water logistics. And, of course, there are the more extreme worries–debilitating hurricanes, fires and snowstorms. Getting ahead and staying ahead of structures issues is a job in itself, forget about growing great plants. That’s why we were so impressed when we visited Eagle Creek’s greenhouses in Mantua, Ohio. Siblings John Bonner and Jill Cain gave us the grand tour of the facilities, but Gary Jansen, the facility’s maintenance magician and all-around Mr. Fix-It, really impressed us. The facility has switched its fuel source from petroleum-based products to wood-based products. And the mid-sized operation has two huge indoor pools […]

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June 19, 2008

Under New Management

Last fall, the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association (NGMA) contracted with Calabrese Management, an organizational management firm based in Harrisburg, Pa. After 10 years with its previous executive director, Melanie Hughes of Hughes & Stuart Marketing in Littleton, Colo., NGMA is sure to go through some changes. NGMA’s new executive director, Denise R. Calabrese, owner of Calabrese Management, says her firm’s goal is to work with the volunteer leadership to strengthen NGMA as an organization. “We will be working with the board of directors to analyze existing programs and ensure that the needs of the industry are met,” she says. Some of these more imminent improvements, she adds, will be in the organization’s communication structure–improving NGMA’s Web site and newsletter, and increasing electronic communications. On the educational side, NGMA’s meeting agendas will be strengthened to provide valuable information to the industry, Calabrese says. For instance, the annual meeting NGMA hosts each spring […]

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June 19, 2008

NGMA: The Next Generation

Fifty years makes a huge difference in the evolution of greenhouse architecture. From lean-tos and quonsets to gutter-connected, retractable-roof structures, commercial greenhouses have gained much from advances in technology. With more modern greenhouses have come advancements in the “furniture” to fill them, also known as greenhouse equipment and supplies, as well as innovative plastic films, which have revolutionized greenhouse shapes and framing systems. The growth of commercial floriculture and greenhouse vegetables over the years has fueled demand for greenhouse technology, and new manufacturers have emerged, raising competition and quality standards. All of this innovation needed organization–enter the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association (NGMA). Founded in 1958, NGMA represents 65 member companies–27 component, 14 structural and nine service. These include greenhouse manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, as well as researchers, students, growers and other allied trades serving the international horticulture industry. Retrofitting Itself Today, NGMA is working to promote and defend greenhouse construction […]

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