C. Raker & Sons, Inc., specializes in the production of high quality plugs and liners, through seed and vegetative propagation. Their first install of ACRYLITE® was in 1985 and, since that time, there has never been any doubt as to why they chose to go with this product.
“Above all else, the ACRYLITE® Resist high impact acrylic double-skin offers us consistent high light quality over time…the best light for any given condition,” explains Tim Raker. “We grow a variety of crops, based on the needs of our clients, so having the best possible light to start out with is a significant factor, and knowing that the light quality won’t change over a period of years means we can better predict other crop growth requirements.”
ACRYLITE® Resist high impact acrylic double-skin has proven itself to C. Raker & Sons, Inc. in terms of weatherability and impact resistance. Michigan experiences some extreme weather conditions throughout the year. In winter, severe snow and ice loads, which slide from greenhouse rooftops can cause other glazing products to break or show signs of crazing. Tim Raker has seen this acrylic withstand these conditions over the years without damage.
“Another important factor in Michigan’s climate is the energy savings we reap with acrylic glazing,” says Tim Raker. “Particularly in the winter months, our acrylic greenhouse are very energy efficient when compared to other glazing products.” In addition, condensation sheds well on the interior of the greenhouses. Because C. Raker & Sons, Inc. germinates and propagates seeds and cuttings, the prevention of drips on the interior is a factor, especially in colder months. If drips occur, plants can be damaged. With the ACRYLITE® anti-condensate coating, the condensation runs off in sheets, rather than dripping to the crops below.
The Rakers have never had to replace their ACRYLITE® Resist high impact acrylic double-skin. They have a small portion of their operation glazed with polycarbonate and find they must invest in replacing the polycarbonate approximately every 4 years due to yellowing and brittleness. It has remained consistent in clarity since the first installation, and it is not susceptible to brittleness, making it possible for C. Raker & Sons, Inc. to invest in other facets of the growing operation.
Of their 450,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses, 400,000 sq. ft. is covered with ACRYLITE® acrylic. Acrylic has been the choice for every new greenhouse build that has been undertaken at C. Raker & Sons, Inc.
“It’s been 25 years now since we started using acrylic, and when we build new additions to grow our young plants, our choice for glazing has always been a given – acrylic. Since our first installation, we have never considered another option. Acrylic is our choice.”