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Control Dekk featured on CropTalk podcast

August 2, 2021

Control Dekk’s controls engineer, Len Logsdon, was recently interviewed on CropTalk with Charlie McKenzie. CropTalk is a popular podcast dedicated to helping today’s agricultural business leaders find the foundational values that lead to success.

Len and Charlie had a rich conversation that dived into OASIS by Control Dekk, why it was developed, and how it’s helping growers across the US and Canada automate hanging basket irrigation successfully and produce higher quality crops.

Len shared, “Being in controls in greenhouses for almost 20 years…I’ve seen a lot of greenhouses struggle with having a correct and uniform [water] pressure that sometimes can be taken care of with pressure regulators and oversizing the supply lines. With cable conveyors, I’ve seen how greenhouses struggle with the switches that activate when the basket goes by. For example, lighter baskets often don’t trip the switch, which results in baskets not being watered. The answer to that is monitoring and adjusting switches on a regular basis. On both the drip and basket cable lines, growers typically sample various baskets on each line. Then they determine when the baskets need to be watered. Then there’s the decision of how long they need to be watered. These are the struggles I’ve seen.”

After seeing these struggles and talking with growers, Len developed OASIS, which works regardless of water pressure and eliminates the need for tabs on conveying systems. Growers are able to determine the optimal hanging basket weight, set that point in the OASIS program, and then turn the line on. OASIS will weigh each basket and water it accordingly to reach that set weight.

Charlie marveled at the consistency achieved using OASIS, “Even if [an] individual has been irrigating hanging baskets by hand for twenty-five years, [if it’s] getting towards the end of the day or getting towards lunch, or maybe they’re tired that day or not feeling great – to think that all of those hanging baskets in their range are going to get irrigated to what the plant needs, it’s hard to believe.”

Len agreed, “The reality is that often optimal soil moisture is unintentionally sacrificed [with traditional irrigation programs] so that all baskets can make it to the next time that someone is available for watering.”

Charlie and Len also discussed many growers’ poor opinions of and experiences with other greenhouse automation. Len shared, “Being in automation of greenhouses for almost 20 years, I have met and talked to many owners or growers who have had negative experiences with previous automation…Unfortunately that type of automation usually underperforms, leads to lower plant quality, higher energy costs, or higher labor costs…Good automation [however] can be very cost effective, while greatly reducing the amount of human intervention necessary to grow the plants.”

In situations where potential customers are skeptical of the OASIS automation, Len will connect potential OASIS customers with other growers and greenhouses who have successfully used OASIS and are loving it. Len said, “With six years of proven technology and a patented product, that really helps a lot. But that testimony of owners and growers across the US and Canada who have [OASIS] systems that have proven to work out for them without plant loss [and] with a great reduction in labor – putting these people in touch with a prospective buyer really helps a lot.”

Charlie observed, “Irrigating the plants is hugely critical to the plant health, but it’s something that if you’re able to automate, it can become much more objective, and it’s not subjective. That subjectivity is usually what takes these growers all this time in making decisions. Taking that out of it and giving the growers time to go around and do things…scouting and monitoring for pests and pathogens, [it] gives them more time to do that. So I’m absolutely in favor of automating these systems.”

Len went on to share news about Control Dekk’s latest innovation – GENESIS, an automated boom control system that has been on the market for about a year now and is gaining praises for solving common boom irrigation challenges.

To listen to the entire podcast episode, visit the CropTalk website here or search for it in your favorite podcast app. To speak with Len and learn how OASIS can help in your greenhouse, contact us here.

“GENESIS has proven to be the most reliable automated boom irrigation system we’ve used from irrigation stage to a finished crop.”
- Nick, Henry Mast

"After a trial of one OASIS at the end of our 2016 season, we installed OASIS on all Echos and Boomerangs in our facility. Now I can't imagine growing without it."
- Jason DeGroot, Owner/Head Grower | Bloemenberg Growers Inc.

“The accessibility of the people at OASIS and the user friendliness of the interface are the two key points for me.”
- Zach Smith, Operations Manager | Hood’s Gardens

"OASIS basket watering systems are worth the investment to ensure product quality, productivity, and reduced stress in my life."
- Dale Buist, Owner | Countryside Greenhouse

"We're extremely happy with the OASIS watering system! It takes the guessing out of watering -- simple and accurate."
- Barry Stiffler, Owner | Barry's Ground Cover

"OASIS by Control Dekk really helped our crop quality by attaining an equal target weight after baskets were hung."
- Kevin van Wingerden, Grower | Pacific Growers

- Andy Buist, Owner/Head Grower | Micandy Gardens

"The baskets using OASIS are absolutely beautiful and noticeably stunning. You'll see a noticeable difference in your crop guaranteed."
- Zach Smith, Operations Manager | Hood's Gardens

"Quality has improved for baskets as well as for our floor crops underneath -- I am really enjoying this system!"
- Evan Schnabel, Head Grower | Hood's Gardens

(616) 828-4862


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