on 3 April 2019, 9:13AM
  • Technology
  • Crop

IOGRU in partnership with many growers across the US is helping growers to improve the quality of their crops and increase their yields. This is the top 10 tips from all our growers using our solutions.

1. Patience

If a plant has a longer time to grow then it can produce more flowers. Allowing the cannabis 8 to 10 weeks in a veg cycle before allowing it to flower is a good way to increase yields. The longer the veg cycle, the larger the yield!

2. Quality of crop depends on the quality of your staff

As with any job where quality is important, it is beneficial to employ skilled staff that understands how to grow cannabis. Not only will they be more efficient at their job, they will also be trusted to see if a plant is stressed, spot the potential issues before they become a big problem and implement the correct procedures to produce the best crops. Similarly, with the need for automated controls, staff that understand the control systems will have greater control and are able to work better with the sophisticated control systems. Quality staff know it is not like a basement grow op. Make sure staff are fully trained and have access to continual training throughout their career to keep an edge over your competitors.

3. Space

Cultivators can optimize their growing space by capturing both vertical and horizontal gain in cultivation rooms, having a well-planned layout for all equipment and functions of the operation. Well planned grow rooms and greenhouses have enough space for you cannabis to grow, depending upon your variety, you may need more space than you think. In general the flowering stage may also require 3 times the space of the veg phase. Remember light needs to penetrate through the canopy and the plants need air to circulate to maintain health.

Your space can also be used effectively by streamlining the workflow to eliminate unnecessary tasks. In some instances you may wish to use moving beds to minimize labor needs and create a constant cycle in your production process. To consider such processes we recommend using a cannabis consultant who can advise you on best practices to adopt. Feel free to contact us and we can put you in touch with some of our recommended partners.

4. Forget basement grow techniques

Basement-growing techniques may work well in a basement but on the larger scale grow operations you need to forget this. Large growing operations have finely tuned control systems that monitor temperature, humidity, CO2 level and more increasingly parameters such as VPD and light level. The higher level monitoring can help prevent loss of crop due to a number of factors. On a larger scale, it can be very costly to have an issue with, for example, mold. Maintaining the correct environment is essential to consistently produce the best yield.

5. Quality not quantity

As the demand for cannabis grows, your customers recognise a quality crop. Quality is rewarded with loyal customers providing you with return business. Making sure you have the right conditions to consistently grow a quality crop is vital to this process. It is not luck that will do this, it is ensuring you can grow every batch, in the same way, every time. The best growers are always improving, yet they also know that large changes could have a large effect. Continual improvement is something good growers always want, but they don’t want to damage their existing reputation for quality. Hearing about the next best thing to improve your crop may need to be taken with caution. So top growers know to test changes in small batches. You have a new solution to improve the grow environment. Try one room at a time, or even just one small area. Monitor the results and then decide.

6. Maintaining the right balance

In nature, there is a balance between the environmental conditions and the different crops that will grow. In a grow room or greenhouse, with just one crop, it is up to the grower to produce the optimal conditions, with the right quantity of crops in a given space. Failing to get this right could mean an overcrowded environment is easily susceptible to disease or mildew, leading to complete failure of the whole crop. A good grower is aware of these issues and wants to prevent microclimates where there is little or no airflow, or where fresh warm air does not circulate. A good grower knows the benefits of an automation system to help him with this. The grow room or greenhouse is not a natural environment, cannabis, like all plants, uses carbon dioxide with light to produce plant energy and sugars. Many growers say yields can be 20 to percent better by increasing the CO2 to around 1500ppm with the right light level.

The right light conditions

Use dimming light fixtures to save on energy

Because of the fact that photosynthesis is not a constant value dimming down on some plant phases and periods can save you some money. In states like California, this can be a big benefit. Engineers of IOGRU had developed a software module that can easy follow your plants photosynthesis.

Consider supplemental LEDs and environmental controls

Combining Colorado’s sun with supplemental LEDs has allowed us to maximize our yields while minimizing our cost per gram. In addition, we have been using an extremely advanced environmental controller with its own weather station to provide the ideal environment, which helps keep the consistent quality we demand as premiere retail wholesalers in this state.

Choose reliable, quality lighting

Quality of light is possibly the single most important factor determining how well your plants will perform. Combined with disruptive technology, such as reflector, chiller and dehumidifier systems — these are a game-changer for indoor growers. They significantly increase yield and quality while also becoming more efficient in terms of energy use.”

Buy a PAR meter

New technology is being developed every day in the industry. If you choose to evaluate new lights or cooling technologies in your own grow, employ the proper equipment such as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) meter to accurately measure quality of light and an infrared thermometer, or “temperature gun,” to ensure your canopy is not too hot. These tools should be used in combination with your observations and data-collection protocols.

7. Efficiency to stay ahead of the game

With all the news on energy we are aware we need to use it efficiently, with indoor growing, especially with HIS lighting, we consume a lot. Using it efficiently can be a game changer in the future when competition gets tight. This is where automated systems can drastically help. Systems like the Priva Blue ID have proven systems can be efficient and produce high yields at the same time.

8. Automation is the key to success on a big scale

All the above points can be efficiently maintained by having an appropriate automation system installed. This is a must for any grow operation wishing to produce a quality product. Automation is the key to making your site efficient in both energy and labor costs and will help prevent problems.

Be careful what solutions you chose! We recommend installing solutions that have been tried and tested.

9. Control grow-room environments

To maximize yield without compromising quality, indoor cultivators are well-served to install equipment that can exercise precise control over the room’s conditions. Both yield and quality will be lost if it is too humid or dry, too hot or cold, or if the environment has too much or too little carbon dioxide.

We have seen facilities with mediocre strains, clueless staff and no effective direction from management still pulling very respectable yields simply because the environmental control equipment installed in the facility was top-notch and conditions in garden areas were optimal.

Automate watering and fertilizing with drain to recover waste

Being for over 60 years in greenhouse control market Priva had created the most efficient and irrigation system that is available on the market. Don’t forget that proper irrigation can boost your yield. More than 80 percent of the water [can be] recovered and recycled from start to harvest.”

10. Get a professional controls support company

It is very important that your automation system will be up and running with no downtime. Even if a small pump will fail this may lead to critical issues and crop loss. There are several companies available like IOGRU that can support and monitor you 24/7.