The greenhouse industry in the United States has steadily grown—and is expected to reach $4 billion in sales by 2020. Limited resources such as labor, land, and water present challenges in commercial greenhouse operations.
With a greenhouse operation, commercial growers can manage and optimize this supply and demand dilemma with the help of automation, conservation, and efficiency.
Growers wanting to improve upon and streamline commercial greenhouse operations should consider:
Help improve the energy efficiency of your commercial greenhouse by minimizing leaks to the structure. That means: weather stripping doors, windows and ventilation openings; sealing the foundation—a major source of air loss; and ensuring windows and doors close and fit properly. Additionally, exhaust devices should be shut off when not in use, and automated device openings should be adjusted and lubricated.
Creating an ideal environment starts with proper greenhouse ventilation. Smaller greenhouses can get adequate ventilation with passive means, but larger commercial operations depend on mechanical systems to help regulate temperature and humidity. Bigger structures face a challenge in ridding excess water, which can mean higher humidity. To best address this challenge, commercial greenhouse combine dehumidifiers and fans to pull excess moisture out and replace it with cooler, drier air.
Commercial growers should be aware that the lighting options they use meet the needs of their plants at every stage. For example, younger plants thrive under higher intensity light, which creates greater photosynthesis. Plants that don’t require full intensity light can provide an energy-saving advantage by reducing the use of artificial light and substituting inefficient incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights.
Moving commercial crop production indoors is one way to reduce an operation’s environmental footprint. By giving growers more control over the conditions inside, they can maximize what Mother Nature is providing—natural light and heat, for example. Hydroponic gardening is another way to reduce soil use and water for the same sustainable effect.
Because of their size, commercial greenhouse operations rely more heavily on mechanical equipment, which requires routine maintenance and repair. Therefore, starting with the best supplies is ideal. Proper and regular upkeep of pumps, heaters, fans, and ventilation systems can not only extend their life span but also improve the efficiency of the operation.
For the best equipment for your commercial greenhouse, call us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit us at www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com today!