Emerald Coast Growers has expanded its Milton, Florida, greenhouse operation to meet increasing customer demand and increase efficiency.

“This space will increase our capacity and allow us to add new varieties while increasing availability on current varieties,” said Josiah Raymer, General Manager.

Improvements to the Florida Panhandle growing space will deliver in increased energy efficiency, reduced labor and increased flexibility in growing conditions for different crops.

Completed in early 2016, the new Atlas gutter-connected double-poly range is 36,864 sq ft, bringing Emerald Coast Growers’ total growing area under cover to more than 500,000 sq ft, in addition to over 75,000 sq ft of outside space. The new facility will be used primarily for tender grass production such as Rubrum and holds more than 19,000 trays.

“As is the case with all of our greenhouse in Florida, we utilize natural ventilation to deal with heat load for a large part of the year while using poly tops exclusively for covering to facilitate removal when necessary as part of our hurricane preparation plan,” said Raymer.

It is equipped with separate interval mist and irrigation systems throughout; LED lighting, which draws approximately 10% of the power when compared to HPS lighting of similar light intensity; and Hired Hand propane heaters installed as two separate systems for redundancy in case of failure.