Big Grower November 2020 - 7

COVER STORY
" The original light controller was very comprehensive, but it was overengineered
for the purpose of controlling the lights and what we wanted
it to do, " Elfstrum says. " We recently installed a Candidus light control
system that enables us to have tight control over the DLI. We're measuring
how much energy it takes to achieve the DLI on a seasonal basis. We are
able to determine if using supplemental light allows us to reach the lettuce
head weight we are trying to achieve. "
He says the dimming function on the
Candidus controller is a great option
because it allows them to save money and
by not using the lighting when the sun is
providing all the light the crops need.
" When the sun emerges and provides
the light needed, the Candidus controller
reacts to conserve electricity, " he
explains. The Candidus controller also
has the ability to track trends and enables
us to look at lighting use history. "
BENEFITS OF SUPPLEMENTAL
CARBON DIOXIDE
As important as it is to provide plants
with the optimum daily light integral,
Elfstrum says growers can't overlook the
carbon dioxide level needed by plants.
" We know from growing tomatoes
that supplemental carbon dioxide can
increase productivity by 30% in the
presence of 800 parts per million carbon
dioxide, " he says. " We looked at the effect
supplemental carbon dioxide had on our hemp plants and cannabinoid
production. There was a significant difference in size and vigor of hemp
plants that received supplemental carbon dioxide. "
According to Elfstrum, the ability to provide supplemental carbon
We think CBD
and cannabinoids
in general will
eventually become
food ingredients and
therefore the plants
should be grown in a
food-safe manner.
dioxide is as important as good lighting control in high-density farming.
He says, " Carbon dioxide supplementation is one of the deciding factors in
terms of making greenhouse and vertical farming successful in years
to come. "
Every greenhouse crop grown by Wheatfield Gardens is supplemented
with carbon dioxide generated through
its cogeneration system.
" When we burn natural gas to produce
electricity we capture the carbon
dioxide that comes along with the gas
combustion, " Elfstrum explains. " We
are able to do this at no additional
cost. The environmental benefit is we
are sequestering the carbon dioxide.
Normally it would be released into the
atmosphere.
" We are providing carbon dioxide to
the plants and generating oxygen as a
result. No one can quantify the benefit
of that for me yet. We are producing our
crops sustainably as much as technology
will allow right now. Our goal is to
produce as sustainably and responsibly
as possible. "
For more information: Contact
Wheatfield Gardens, info@
wheatfieldgardens.com; www.
fifthseasonfresh.com.
David Kuack is a freelance technical writer in Fort Worth, Texas. He can
be reached at dkuack@gmail.com.
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Big Grower November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Grower November 2020

Big Grower November 2020 - 1
Big Grower November 2020 - 2
Big Grower November 2020 - 3
Big Grower November 2020 - 4
Big Grower November 2020 - 5
Big Grower November 2020 - 6
Big Grower November 2020 - 7
Big Grower November 2020 - 8
Big Grower November 2020 - 9
Big Grower November 2020 - 10
Big Grower November 2020 - 11
Big Grower November 2020 - 12
Big Grower November 2020 - 13
Big Grower November 2020 - 14
Big Grower November 2020 - 15
Big Grower November 2020 - 16
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