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 as prices drop for product across the United States. Getting more product to market faster may seem like a good strategy for staying in the black, but if you take this path you may regret it later — and here’s why.
If you’ve ever grown 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 yield a more consistent supply, it’s recommended that commercial producers establish a perpetual harvest. Through a process known as symbiotic rotation, producers 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 growth of the cannabis industry, it is important to your business to use many of the same techniques and analytics used by other major agricultural industries to maximize efficiency and profit. That is why it is vital that you collect an extensive array of data points each day to optimize your business. The data that you collect will help you to keep on top of the market trends, efficiency for your business and employees, improve the quality of your plants and determine your financial performance.
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 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 better utilizes resources, minimizes or eliminates the use of pesticides, and therefore provides a safer product for the consumer. IPM is also important because it is an ecosystem based strategy with long-term, as opposed to short-term, goals.
As an Introduction to Integrated Pest Management in Cannabis Cultivation, IPM is most often utilized in controllable environments such as greenhouses. It involves close monitoring for pests (i.e. any organism that damages the cannabis crop) and taking the most logical steps to eliminate the pest.
Indoor cultivation naturally arose out of the cannabis plants illegal status. 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 came a greater demand for electricity to run the lights and the undesired byproduct of excess heat. A variety of technologies are used to control heat produced by the grow lights including air-cooled hoods, ventilation and circulation fans as well as air conditioning units. This further increases the electricity demands of indoor cultivation facilities.
As a marijuana grower it is important to ensure that your greenhouse operates at its highest performance at all times. While this includes having the right design and equipment such as supplemental lights, fans, and climate regulation controllers, it also means that the entire space needs to be kept clean and tidy. Keeping your grow area clean is important because the cleanliness 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/
“When it comes to choosing a greenhouse company or greenhouse design, you have to think about these operations as an organism. They have to be homeostatically balanced—maintaining a constant temperature, airflow, humidity, CO2 concentration, light penetration and concentration—in order to have a successful, functioning, living, breathing entity. If the space is sick, like a human being, you’re going to have problems.