Departments - Products

April 1, 2014

Films allow for more light

With the cost of fuel, fertilizer, and other materials on the rise, growers of flowers, plants, and produce must look for ways to increase yields and remain viable in the market. Greenhouse growers can gain a competitive advantage by specifying F-Clean ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) films (membranes) from AGC Chemicals Americas as covering material for their structures.

The films provide more than 93 percent light transmittance and UV transmission rates that are higher than glass, polyethylene, or polycarbonate, which helps speed crop growth, improve quality, and increase yield.

The films are self-extinguishing and available in clear, diffused, and UV-blocking versions. The ETFE fluoropolymer chemistry of these films produces several significant performance benefits including:

Long-lasting performance. ETFE films have long-term mechanical strength, optical stability and UV stability, as demonstrated by greenhouse coverings still in use and performing effectively after 27 years.

Low reflection and refraction rates. This characteristic allows ETFE films to effectively transmit more light during low sunlight periods in the morning and evening hours.

Low surface energy. This characteristic means that dirt will wash away with rain, and snow and ice will slide away, ensuring quality light transmission and eliminating work time, clearing costs, and cleaning costs.

Anti-drip coating. This coating prevents condensation on the inside of the greenhouse; droplets will not form, which prevents the possibility of drip damage or light reflection.

Diffused film option. This variety of F-Clean film eliminates shadows and spreads the light evenly inside the growing area, enabling more photosynthesis and quality plants.

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Sanitizer/disinfectant for greenhouse cleaning

As edible production increases in the greenhouse industry, growers need a solid food safety plan. BioSafe Systems has spent the last 15 years providing food safety solutions for everything from growing to packing. SaniDate 5.0 disinfectant/sanitizer is the latest such solution. SaniDate 5.0 keeps food contact and nonfood contact surfaces free from human health pathogens as well as, plant pathogens. Effective against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listera, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and other bacteria and molds, SaniDate 5.0 is a peroxycompound chemistry that works quickly to remove pathogens and their spores from food and nonfood contact surfaces and equipment.

SaniDate 5.0 leaves no harmful residues and no rinse is required, therefore costs for labor are lowered. This chlorine alternative also has no disinfection byproducts. It is EPA-registered, OMRI-lListed for organic production, and CRC kosher-certified.

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Clearly a labeling innovation

Horticulture Marketing and Printing’s clear, pressure-sensitive labels go on cleanly and look more attractive than traditional white stickers.

The smaller sizes are practical for pricing, bar coding, and traditional tags. The larger stickers work well on larger pots.

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Goose control

If your greenhouse grounds are being overrun by geese, you know the expense and problems the birds can create. Your maintenance crews spend time cleaning up the droppings and replanting flowers and other decorative plants, trampled flat and destroyed by these lumbering birds.

If you have a pond or decorative water feature, geese will contaminate it with their droppings and turn it into a smelly mess. Once again, you’re faced with higher maintenance costs; costs you’re trying to hold down in this bad economy.

Without professional-grade goose control, getting rid of geese can be a challenge. Use a water hose or noise maker and they’ll return as soon as you leave. Pellet guns and poisons are not only inhumane, but only temporarily effective. In some cases, these drastic measures may even be illegal, resulting in costly fines.

There are, however, humane and effective goose deterrents available, including Migrate Goose Repellent by Bird-B-Gone. This repellant is a nontoxic liquid that makes grass areas unpalatable to geese. The active ingredient is nontoxic grape extract, methyl anthranilate. The extract irritates birds’ trigeminal nerves and mucous membranes, they do not like the sensation caused by the extract and will avoid the area being treated.

Liquid Goose Repellent is applied to grass or shrub areas where geese have been grazing. When geese go to graze on the treated areas, they will realize there is no longer a food source, and move on. One gallon of Liquid Goose Repellent will cover approximately 16,000 square feet for one application. The liquid repellent lasts three months outdoors, and won’t wash off with rain or water. It is safe to use around people and pets.

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Centrifugal pumps

AG Series cast iron centrifugal pumps by Franklin Electric are for challenging water-transfer applications demanding high performance and efficiency in agricultural markets.

The AG Series is equipped with standard JM and JP motor frames along with a stainless steel shaft sleeve to prolong the life of the pump. Pumps are available to fit the industry’s most popular models ranging from 3 to 75 horsepower, with flow ratings from 50 thru 1,000 gallons per minute with a maximum shut-off pressure of over 175 pound-force per square inch.

Franklin used CAD modeling and simulation to update the pump’s flow design, which offers improved energy efficiency, enhanced durability, and extended operating life in clean water applications such as turf and landscape maintenance, crop and livestock watering, pressure boosting, and water circulation. Its standardized mounting dimensions and plumbing connections provide a quick and easy retrofit, reducing downtime, and the product’s “back pull-out” design makes repairs fast and simple.

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Liquid micronutrients

Peters Liquid S.T.E.M. by Everris NAprovides the same high-quality, micronutrients as its predecessor, but copper, iron, manganese, and zinc are now in soluble and available chelated forms and the entire product is in a handy, ready-to-mix, liquid formulation. As a “C” (customizing) component, it can be used with all Peters Professional formulations. In fact, Liquid S.T.E.M. is compatible with most fertilizers, making it an effective way to improve almost any plant nutrition program.

Liquid S.T.E.M. is effective as a drench or a foliar spray, and growers can apply it as a continuous feed or use it as a “rescue treatment” for stressed plants suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. Because it’s already in liquid form, Liquid S.T.E.M. goes easily from the jug to the tank in one step, with no solubility issues.

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