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Virtual Grower 3

Metadata Updated: September 21, 2023

Several years ago, our group released the Virtual Grower software to the public. Initially designed to help greenhouse growers determine heating costs and do simple simulations to figure out where heat savings could be achieved, it has slowly added features so that now, Virtual Grower can help not only identify those savings through different greenhouse designs, but predict crop growth, assist in scheduling, make real-time predictions of energy use, and see the impact of supplemental lighting on plant growth and development. In other words, the software can be a safety net and allow users to experiment with "what if" scenarios in a risk-free setting. Virtual Grower 3.0 is the next installment in the software series. Released in August, 2011, this version is the first to be both Mac- and PC-compatible, meaning no one is excluded from being able to use the software. Return users will find the same easy-to-use sections for designing greenhouse structures, heating systems, and lighting systems, and adding up to 40 plant species or varieties to your simulation. New Features:

The new version has nearly 800 locations across the U.S. represented by their weather, which is an increase of over 500 sites. Many of the new and old features are bolstered with graphics including a location map, photographs, responsive schematic drawings of your simulated greenhouse, and graphs and charts of the output. Virtual Grower 3 can now accommodate dual-stage heating systems and apply them to as many greenhouses as you want. This allows for the simulation of the increasingly common case of having a very high-efficiency system running most of the time and a lower-efficiency, less expensive system supply heat when additional heat is needed during cold periods. Users can now enter a target finish date and "backtrack" to predict when the crop should be started from plug stage. Students in the greenhouse industry can view photographs and track down additional information for all of the crops included in the software. Improved support in instructional videos.

Like it? Don't like it? Wish we would change something? We want to hear from you. Please contact us through the help desk at Most of the features that are in the software now came from users like you. This is an ongoing project with no expiration date, so your suggestions will be considered and hopefully incorporated into the next version.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: Creative Commons CCZero

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Metadata Created Date November 10, 2020
Metadata Updated Date September 21, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from USDA JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 10, 2020
Metadata Updated Date September 21, 2023
Publisher Agricultural Research Service
Identifier 2eaf9d7f-be1c-4d75-9eb3-283af6f40c3e
Data Last Modified 2022-01-14
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 005:18
Metadata Context
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 8e64b4f6-83a6-42d0-986a-eb56672fbefb
Harvest Source Id d3fafa34-0cb9-48f1-ab1d-5b5fdc783806
Harvest Source Title USDA JSON
Program Code 005:040
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash b7bbd61534c01231b7166a7233df894f355afd16fa38bec43cca032a1c2eaaa8
Source Schema Version 1.1

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