Customer Stories Mar 1, 2017

Sklarczyk Seed Farms Sees Savings with Utility Rebate, and Reduced Infrastructure Costs

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About Sklarczyk Seed Farms

Sklarczyk Seed Farms (SSF) is a family-run potato farm established in 1942 in Johannesburg, Michigan. They’ve become known for their high-quality seed potatoes and their ability to remain innovative for an increasingly progressive market.

In the 1980’s, SSF helped lead innovations in the utilization of tissue culture for seed potato production. By the 90’s, their greenhouses were converted to hydroponic potato production at the recommendation of Frito Lay. Always leveraging new technology and methods to keep their quality above the rest, SSF has garnered a myriad of awards in the potato seed industry. SSF continues to meet increasing demand by producing over 4 million seed potatoes a year.

Reduced infrastructure costs

Received Utility Rebate

Increased Tuberization

Unacceptable Yield Losses

Sklarczyk Seed Farms began researching the use of more innovative supplemental lighting strategies after they saw 10% yield losses when comparing HPS lighting to their standard production.

“We wanted an energy-efficient solution that was inexpensive to install, while providing sufficient light output to extend our growth period to match the longest days of the year,” explains Ben Sklarczyk, Owner of Sklarczyk Seed Farm.

“The low power consumption of LumiGrow fixtures saved us some significant capital right off the bat by minimizing greenhouse electrical infrastructure costs.”

A Crop-Specific Light Plan

LumiGrow Lighting Specialist, Ashley Veach worked with Ben to put together a custom light plan.

“First we determined optimal light levels for their seed potato production and addressed Sklarczyk’s light variability objectives,” said Ashley.

LumiGrow then worked with Sklarczyk Seed Farms to design a crop-specific light plan and determine rebate eligibility.

Unexpected Benefits

LumiGrow offered SSF several benefits, not all of them foreseen. When building out a new greenhouse, Ben realized that the lower electrical draw of the LumiGrow LED fixtures meant that less wiring had to be installed. Instead of 4 HPS fixtures per circuit, the electrician could put up to 6 LumiGrow fixtures on each circuit.

Due to the lower electrical draw, the new greenhouse did not require their facility to upgrade their power supply, usually an expensive process. “The low power consumption of LumiGrow fixtures saved us some significant capital right off the bat by minimizing greenhouse electrical infrastructure costs,” said Ben.

Since the installation, SSF has continued to benefit from LumiGrow LEDs in new ways. By using spectral strategies enabled by LumiGrow’s tunable spectrum and increasing the ratio of blue light, SSF has observed reduced vegetative growth among their seeding plants and boosts in quality. LumiGrow continues to be helpful in assisting Sklarczyk Seed Farms with their lighting strategies and lighting research.

  • Problem. Needed an energy-efficient solution that was inexpensive to install
  • Solution. Installed energy-efficient LumiGrow fixtures with smartPARTM Wireless Control Software
  • Results. Reduced infrastructure costs due to lower electrical load; received utility rebate; used the solution to optimize vegetative growth and realize additional savings through energy-savings
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