Ask most growers what is needed in the greenhouse and the answer will most likely be, environmental controls. For David Hoffman, senior director of sales and operations at Hoffman Nursery in Rougemont, North Carolina, that is where Argus Controls Systems comes in. Argus has provided automated control systems for horticulture, aquaculture and related biotechnology industries since 1984. And for almost five years, Hoffman Nursery has relied on them.
“Argus has given us precise, accurate control over our greenhouses,” Hoffman says. “Changing from smaller, cold frame type houses to a gutter-connect greenhouse with true environmental controls is a big leap.”
Specializing in ornamental and native grasses, Hoffman Nursery grows over 140 different species, grasses and sedges, and ships all over the U.S. and into Canada. Its wide product selection and cross-country shipping requires guaranteed product on a consistent basis. Hoffman says the nursery is able to consistently deliver thanks to “Argus’ newer more robust system” — the Titan System combined with Titan 900 Software.
“The system lets us dial in on temperature and humidity levels, which translates to better ventilation and reduced disease pressure,” Hoffman says. “And customers tell us they see high plant quality whenever it arrives to their site."
Customer service wise, Hoffman has no complaints, either. With a focus on providing hands-on responses to issues, the company ensures a smooth customer experience during and after work hours, which is a “huge benefit” for Hoffman. He adds that the company also offers greenhouse staff training, which equips his team to manage and troubleshoot the system themselves.
And that’s not all. Argus’ remote alert capability also leaves room for Hoffman’s absence, in the event something goes awry when he is attending a trade show, or is simply away from the facility. This, Hoffman says, leaves room for “freedom and flexibility that you wouldn’t have otherwise.”
“Our customers are invested in their plants, and you often have this feeling that you can never leave and go do something else,” he says. “Argus gives you the control to know things are going well, and if there’s a problem the system will automatically alert somebody to check it out. This allows me to diagnose issues when we're not on site.”
Overall, Hoffman suggests Argus to other growers because of its usability, reliability and the companies’ hands-on customer service approach. “They've been easy to work with, and I trust the system,” Hoffman says.