Atlantic Grown Organics Extends Growing Season With LED Lights
Atlantic Grown Organics on Prince Edward Island, Canada, has been
in operation since 2001 and is run by Marc and Krista Schurman, with assistance from their three children. In their greenhouse operation, the family grows tomatoes, English cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, eggplants and lettuce and has been focused on organic farming since 2005.
“When winter comes, the days are shorter,” said Marc Schurman.
“That means we have to depend on another source of lighting other than sunlight to make sure our crops continue to grow. We’re a family operation, so we need to do all we can to lengthen the growing season to keep up with the demands of our distributors.”
Schurman had previously installed LED lights in another section of his greenhouse, but he wasn’t entirely satisfied with their output. That’s when he called the Canadian team at Hort Americas, the distributor for GE Current, a Daintree company, to see what the company could offer him. What he found was the Arize® Element L1000 LED light systems, which provided him more flexibility than his older LED and HPS light configurations.
“I decided that it was time to update our lighting systems and was looking for something different,” Schurman said. “I wanted more control over the color spectrum of the light and was looking for something that was more reliable than what I had.”
Current’s Arize portfolio offers professional LED horticultural lighting and hybrid solutions for indoor farms and greenhouses to provide year-round, scalable lighting that helps growers operate more sustainably and increase harvests.
Schurman did extensive research into the L1000 fixtures and discovered they were 30% more powerful and 45% more efficient than the lights he’d used before. He quizzed the team at Hort Americas Canada about the lights and asked to see the academic research that supported their claims of improved yields. Schurman was impressed by the information the team provided.
After doing his homework, Schurman purchased 278 lights and was able to install the system himself, which saved money and appealed to his sense of independence. Then he planted his first crop of tomatoes under the lights in October and watched as they thrived under his new lighting system.
“They have a good reputation ... it made me confident that they would deliver on what they said they would—and they did.”
- Marc Schurman, Owner, Atlantic Grown Organics
Schurman is a no-nonsense businessman who considered all his options and decided that Current had the ideal solution to his lighting needs. With a strong reputation for product excellence and a commitment to their customers, this made Current an attractive partner for the grower.
“They have a good reputation throughout Canada, and their distributor, Hort Americas Canada, is a trusted source for lighting,” Schurman said.
“It made me confident that they would deliver on what they said they would—and they did.”
Another advantage that Current had over its competitors was the fact that it had a distributor that could provide technical and logistical support within Canada itself. In light of the global pandemic, having support that could be deployed quickly and easily without the hassle of cross-border travel was intriguing.
“The fact that they had Canadian-based technical support was a big deal for me,” Schurman said.
“Particularly during the last year, having support that’s close to my location that I could call on was crucial to earning my business.”
Despite the difficulties posed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Schurman noted that Hort Americas Canada and Current did everything they possibly could to make his experience a good one. With extensive consultations over the phone and by email, the growing season continued through February—and the results speak for themselves.
“The tomatoes looked great,” Schurman said.
“The lights Current provided really made our growing season more productive and, as a result, allowed me to focus on what I do best—feeding people throughout the Maritime Provinces.”