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"Biomass heating systems can provide operational boost"

Commercial greenhouses are proving that biomass heating systems can provide an operational boost in an increasingly global, competitive flower and plant marketplace.

Len Busch Roses in Plymouth, Minnesota, and Schaefer’s Gardens in Triangle, New York, are both family-owned, commercial greenhouses that have been growing plants and flowers for the better part of a century. While Len Busch is a much larger facility, nearly 15 acres compared to an acre and a half, the two facilities face many of the same challenges, albeit a different scale. Greenhouse operations are labor and energy intensive, and for U.S. operators, those issues are exacerbated by the fact that low-cost, foreign competitors pay far less for each. With few options available to drive down labor costs, both Len Busch Roses and Schaefer’s Gardens turned their focuses to reducing heating costs, each using a biomass solution to do so.

Len Busch’s Saving Grace
Patrick Busch, owner of Len Busch Roses, speaks over the noise of a Rotochopper B66, while a fountain of recently chipped wood arcs onto a growing pile. “We used to have a smaller, electric chopper that couldn’t really handle logs,” Busch says. “We went to the diesel-powered B66 because it was at least three times larger than the older chopper, and it can easily handle logs. We did this because we wanted the flexibility to grind wood daily. We can now process chips, logs and brush in one pass, and have it ready for combustion.”

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