Hemp and marijuana growers are using advanced technologies to increase quality and yields, cut down on labor costs, and decrease water as well as optimize energy use. These technologies, which also help make cultivation facilities more productive, include products to control pests that don’t use chemical pesticides, smartphone-controlled technology to raise and lower lighting and LED bulbs, systems that control a grow-room environment remotely, and sensors to fine-tune lighting and control irrigation.
Some companies use sensors that enable cultivation operation managers to assess soil moisture using a software that can be viewed on a smartphone or computer. For instance, the director of cultivation at the Source in Las Vegas stated that his company recently began using grow-media water sensors that assist him in deciding when to irrigate the plants.
The director; Bill Campbell, revealed that the sensors, which cost no more than $100, notified him when they detected that some plants lacked sufficient water. Campbell noted that since the Source began using the sensors, water usage had dropped by more than 50%, adding that nearly 300 gallons of water are saved daily. The use of these sensors, he notes, has also increased cannabinoid and terpene production as well as the company’s yields.
Another vertically integrated cannabis and hemp firm, HillviewMed, is also using a system that has sensors which collect plant data. The data plays a crucial part in the company’s business strategy as it can be used to make various decisions including how much light the plants should get. Hillview CEO Kenneth Vandevrede notes that the data is a key tool in the company’s growth.
Chalice Farms’ director of cultivation Derek Rayhorn revealed that the data collected by its automated grow system helps in budgeting. The company uses technology that incorporates anemometers, humidistats and temperature sensors. He adds that the technology also allows him to remotely make adjustments to the system and monitor it.
LED lighting is also growing popular among cannabis growers, with the CEO of The Green Solution Steve Lopez revealing that the use of these lights has doubled plant sizes. Lopez adds that the company has also saved a lot on the energy side, noting that the company may soon hit their maximum yield and maximum potential.
SugarTop Buddery’s CEO Anna Kaplan is also using technology that doesn’t rely on chemicals to exterminate pests. The system in use at its Oregon facility creates a natural formulation with anti-pathogen, antifungal and antiviral properties, which is said to be very effective at killing pests.
Chalice Farms, and Chalice Brands Ltd. (CSE: CHAL) (OTCQB: CHALF) in general, is showing other industry players how beneficial it can be to use the latest and most innovative tech during the cultivation of marijuana for medical or recreational use.
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