Episode 69: How A Facility Increased Yields By Over 50% In 2 Years Using Science
This podcast is about how a commercial cannabis facility was able to dramatically increase their yields by making some small changes in operations that allowed them to incorporate science and the scientific method which was key in making decisions that both reduced labor costs and raised yields by more than 50%.
In this podcast, I talk with Dr. Ben Higgins. Ben works with both Gold Leaf Gardens and KIS Organics and is also part of our consulting group. He is the research scientist for Gold Leaf and with KIS Organics he handles the custom Blumat designs for growers as well as assisting with our product development and research.
Ben earned his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz where he studied functional ecology, organismal morphometrics, and physiology. He lives in Olympia, WA with his wife and two daughters, and loves to explore the natural beauty of the area with them as often as possible.
Below are two figures that were developed during the experiments Ben talks about in this episode. These two figures helped guide the decisions made by Gold Leaf Gardens over the past year.
Figure 1: Average aboveground biomass (i.e., wet weight) of 8-plant trellises at harvest. The bar on the left represents the average of 8 beds that were irrigated by hand throughout the grow. The bar on the right represents the average of 5 beds that were irrigated using Blumat systems. The numbers on the top of each bar represent the average weights. The error bars represent +/- 1 standard deviation from the average. Beds irrigated with Blumat systems produced significantly more (25%) wet weight than did beds irrigated by hand.
The paper this is pulled from is currently under review by the Journal of Cannabis Research. It will be made available after it's been peer-reviewed.
Figure 2: Three cultivars grown under 4 different lighting fixtures (3 LED, 1 HPS). Both Animal Sherbert #2 and Wedding Cake produced more wet weight when grown under LED light B, followed by LED light C and then LED light A, respectively. Apricot Jelly preferred LED light A (LED light C was unavailable for testing this cultivar). Regardless of LED light fixture, they all outperformed HPS fixtures.