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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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