Demand has existed for several years for a Spanish version of the USDA-ARS program, a decision support tool for greenhouse growers and those interested in building a greenhouse. Last week, developers released Virtual Grower 2.5 en Español .
Users can build a virtual greenhouse in the comfort of their home or office with a variety of glazing materials, heating setups, fuel types, supplemental lighting and energy curtains. It enables the user to schedule temperature setpoints throughout the year and predict heating costs for more than 230 locations in the United States. It will also predict various heating and scheduling scenarios with a few simple inputs. It can estimate fuel costs and plant growth for a production season or crop.
The program is continually updated with information from the USDA-ARS and various universities. The Spanish version can be installed alongside the existing English version without interference.
The translation of the program was a team effort by Ariana Torres and Roberto Lopez at Purdue University , Claudio Pasian and Luis Cañas at The Ohio State University  and Lidia Rodriguez at the University of Toledo  For more information on the software, visit www.virtualgrower.net .