One of the most important elements to consider in cannabis cultivation is water efficiency. With droughts ravaging California and a host of bureaucratic regulations in just about every state that has legalized marijuana (including California), it is important for cultivators to be well informed on water issues. This includes information about water quality, the quantity being used as well as the source of your water supply.
Like any business, Cannabis businesses need a steady flow of revenue to continue to operate. In a cannabis cultivation operation, cutting a little corner here or there may seem like a good idea, particularly if prices for cannabis flower drop throughout the United States. Getting more of your product to market faster may seem like a good strategy for staying in the black. However, if you take this path and don’t cure your cannabis flower you may regret it later. Here’s why…
If you’ve ever tried to grow cannabis outside, you know the timing of your cannabis grow is dictated by the number of daylight hours available throughout the year. This is because the cannabis plant’s life cycle is dictated by photoperiodism (the physical response of an organism to seasonal day length changes). In other words, any plant is dependent upon light, or in this case, sunlight, to grow — the amount of light a plant gets, dictates its growth and stage of development.
Many cannabis industry experts have begun utilizing a style of greenhouse cultivation called light deprivation. Light deprivation is the practice of using blackout fabric to reduce the hours of sunlight that the plants receive, effectively triggering them to start flowering on demand. This process of controlling the amount of sunlight allows greenhouse growers to use the most effective and cost efficient light source, the sun, without being limited to producing only a single crop per year.
They say time is money – and for commercial marijuana producers so is space. By maximizing greenhouse space and evenly distributing labor needs, commercial producers can increase cannabis supply and improve profit margins. To generate a more consistent supply of product, it’s recommended that commercial growers establish a perpetual harvest.
Perpetual harvest involves a process known as symbiotic rotation, where cannabis cultivators maintain plants in all stages of plant development. Plants are moved through the differents areas of the cultivation facility to maintain a steady supply of flowering plants, thus meeting market demand more consistently.
With the rapid growth of the cannabis industry, cannabis cultivation is becoming more and more sophisticated. In order to increase your chances of being a successful cultivator, you can use many of the same techniques and analytics used by other major agricultural industries to maximize efficiency and profit. Therefore it is vital that you collect an extensive array of data points each day to optimize your cannabis cultivation operation. The data that you collect will help you to stay abreast of market trends, optimize efficiency for your business (including helping your employees be more efficient), improve the quality of your plants and enable you to understand all of the numbers that affect your company’s financial performance.
What is the Soil Food Web and how does it affect cannabis plants? In conventional and hydroponic agriculture chemical fertilizers are used to provide the basic elements necessary for plant growth; Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (NPK). While NPK fertilizers have proven effective in growing cannabis plants (and many other plants) there is more to optimal plant health than NPK. Over many thousands of years plants have developed intricate relationships with soil microorganisms to provide necessary elements and adequate water for healthy plant growth.
Cannabis cultivation, like any agricultural pursuit, requires strict attention to pest management. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is preferable because it utilizes resources more efficiently and minimizes or eliminates the use of pesticides. Therefore using IPM techniques results in a safer product for the consumer. IPM is also important because it is an ecosystem based strategy with long-term goals, as opposed to other strategies that are more focused on short-term goals and maximizing speed over quality.
Integrated Pest Management in Cannabis Cultivation is most often utilized in controllable environments such as greenhouses. It involves closely monitoring for pests (i.e. any organism that could potentially damage the cannabis crop) and taking the most logical steps to eliminate the pest.
Cannabis facility design is an important aspect of commercial marijuana cultivation. Along with the various types of commercial greenhouse structures, there are various factors which can affect the quality and price of your cannabis crop. Indoor cultivation originally arose out of the illegal status of cannabis plants. Needing to be stealthy, equipment and techniques were developed to allow growers to produce marijuana behind closed doors.
With the advancement of indoor cultivation technologies it became possible to establish larger operations with more grow lights. Along with the increase in size of commercial greenhouse structures came a greater demand for electricity to run the lights and the undesired byproduct of excess heat.
Proper cannabis facility design includes using a variety of equipment to control heat produced by the grow lights. Helping to mitigate the heat in commercial grow rooms are air-cooled hoods, ventilation and circulation fans as well as air conditioning units. These devices increase the electricity demands of indoor cultivation facilities which, in turn, makes growing cannabis indoors more expensive than growing outdoors.
As legal cannabis markets grow to maturity, such as in Colorado, the wholesale price will drop as a function of supply and demand. As the price of cannabis drops, commercial cultivation businesses will be under even more pressure to maximize their margins to compete.
As a marijuana grower it is important to ensure that your cannabis cultivation operation operates at its highest performance at all times. While this includes having the right commercial greenhouse design and equipment such as supplemental lights, fans, and climate regulation controllers, it also means that the entire space needs to be kept clean, as in immaculate. Keeping your grow area clean is absolutely critical because the cleanliness of your facility will determine everything else, including the health of your plants and the yield that you will get from your crop.
3C’s Nic Easley discusses the importance of implementing adequate odor control systems into cannabis facilities in this Dope magazine article. Wise producers design and build their facilities in the best possible way whether or not they are legally forced to do so. As communities welcome new cannabis production facilitates across the country it’s our responsibility to be respectable neighbors, this is why Odor control systems are essential. By going above and beyond regulatory standards business owners set the pace for the industry as a whole. If we want to the industry to continue to grow we must demonstrate our professionalism and work to breakdown the stigmas associated with the cannabis plant. Cannabis businesses benefit greatly from looking to established industries for relevant solutions. The agricultural and pharmaceutical industries have navigated many of the same challenges faced by the cannabis industry on a much larger scale for decades.
Read the full article: http://www.dopemagazine.com/nose-mind-odor-mitigation-raises-issues-across-industry/