How to Use Crop Genetics to Improve Cannabis Yields

How to use crop genetics to improve cannabis yields

Crop genetics are the tools plant breeders use to produce high-yielding varieties. They also help develop plants that are resistant to pests and disease.

But growing a crop, especially cannabis, requires a great deal of skill and a major learning curve. For that reason, many growers turn to experimental cultivation techniques.

1. Soil

Using crop genetics to improve cannabis yields isn’t always easy. In fact, the challenge is compounded by the reality that cannabis is a complex plant that reacts to environmental factors in a variety of ways.

The good news is that there are a number of methods that growers can use to boost the amount of harvest they produce. These techniques range from using fertilizer to modifying soil, lighting, and watering practices.

For example, using a high-nitrogen fertilizer in the early seedling stage can help ensure healthy and strong plants throughout their growth. Nitrogen promotes root growth and helps the plant develop the strength necessary for it to be able to withstand pests and disease.

However, the right nitrogen ratio is crucial for a plant to reach its full potential. Using too much nitrogen during this stage can make a plant weaker, resulting in lower yields.

It’s also essential to have a proper soil pH, which should be around 6.0-7.0. Keeping the soil at these levels will allow your plant to absorb nutrients more easily, which will increase your harvest.

Similarly, adding molasses to your soil can also boost your plants’ nutritional levels and help them grow healthier and stronger. Molasses contains sugars that fuel your plant’s metabolism and feed the beneficial bacteria in your soil. It also keeps the soil pH at the right level, which is vital for your cannabis plant to thrive and produce a high harvest.

2. Lighting

Despite the fact that crop genetics are critical for improving cannabis yields, scientific data on how to improve this aspect of cultivation remains limited. This is because a number of factors must be controlled in order to replicate real-world environmental shifts and physiological stress.

In addition to climate control, lighting is a critical part of the cultivation process that can make all the difference when it comes to harvesting top-quality marijuana. During the vegetative phase, cannabis needs light within a spectrum of 400-500nm, while during flowering it requires a red spectrum between 620-780nm.

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It is a good idea to use a lux meter to determine whether or not you are using the right amount of light for your cannabis plants. This device can help you prevent plant issues and optimise your grow room.

If you’re growing weed in an indoor grow room, you can use LED lights to provide a more even spectrum of light to your plants. These are a bit more expensive to buy than high-pressure sodium (HPS) or metal-halide (MH) lights, but they’re kinder on your electricity bill and run a lot cooler than HIDs.

In the past, growers have used HPS lamps to provide the proper lighting for their cannabis crops, but LEDs are quickly becoming the lighting of choice in many commercial operations. Not only are they more efficient than HPS and MH lights, but they can also be customised to suit the different growth stages of your plants, ensuring you get the most out of each stage of the plant’s lifecycle.

3. Water

Water is a very important molecule that helps all living organisms function. It is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. The molecule can be liquid, solid, or gaseous.

Its versatility makes it a critical component for the maintenance of vital chemical reactions that are essential for the functioning of cells. The molecule is also unique in its ability to support the complex shapes of cells’ internal components and outer membranes.

As a result, water is the most important molecule found in all life forms. Approximately 62 percent of the human body is made up of this important compound.

In cannabis cultivation, water is used to support plant growth, increase yields, and enhance product quality. Growers use different types of water to meet the needs of each cannabis plant during the four critical stages of its growth cycle: vegetative, flowering, harvesting, and ripening.

Generally, cultivators use distilled or reverse osmosis water that has been purified of all dissolved solids. The water should be free of chlorine and fluoride, which can negatively affect a marijuana plant.

Hydroponic farming allows for cannabis to be grown without soil and increases yields by 40-50% compared to growing indoors with soil. However, this method requires experienced growers who know how to operate hydroponics systems and maintain them.

To maximize cannabis yields, cultivators should consider using various techniques that stress their plants in positive ways. These include:

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4. Fertilization

Cannabis plants require specific nutrients for healthy growth and a high yield. You can supply your plants with the necessary elements through fertilization and other additives. These can be synthetic or organic and can be applied directly to your plants’ soil or other inert growth mediums.

There are many different types of fertilizers available for cannabis growers, including mineral and organic products. Using these can help you boost your yields without overfeeding your plant or causing it to burn out.

Another option is to use professional fertilizers that can provide your plants with the ideal nutrient mix for their needs. This will save you time and effort in creating your own cannabis-specific nutrient profile and can ensure that your plant is getting what it needs.

The best type of fertilizer for your cannabis plants is one that is specifically designed for the strain you are growing. You should only use fertilizers that contain a variety of micronutrients and a balanced mix of macronutrients.

In addition to adding fertilizers, you can also add microbial inoculants to improve the health of your plants’ soil. These microbial inoculants can increase the amount of nutrients your plants absorb and help them grow faster.

Cannabis cultivation techniques are a complex field that can vary depending on the region in which you live and the crops you are growing. Some common crop management techniques include: stand out pruning, defoliation, Sea of Green (SoG), screen of green (ScroG), light supplementation and transplanting to larger containers.

5. Temperature

Increasing cannabis crop yields isn’t an easy feat, especially in a greenhouse. Luckily, there are a few methods growers can use to help maximize the size of their harvests.

The best way to improve cannabis yields is to optimize the growing environment and monitor all of the factors that affect a plant’s development. These factors include temperature and humidity, lighting, water, and nutrients.

Temperature can affect the amount of resin that’s produced in a crop, as well as how much it grows. High temperatures slow photosynthesis, which decreases the quality and quantity of resin.

When it comes to growing marijuana, it’s essential to keep the temperature of the grow room between 60-77 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure consistent airflow and promote healthy growth.

It’s also important to maintain proper humidity levels, which will encourage bud formation and minimize bud rot. The ideal level of humidity is between 40 and 70 percent.

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Another way to increase cannabis yields is to add a plant biostimulant. This is a chemical that helps plants absorb six major nutrients they need for growth.

Using a biostimulant allows growers to apply it to their plants up until they’re ready for harvest, which can save time and money while enhancing their genetics. It’s also a good option for cultivators who don’t want to use pesticides on their flowers.

Although temperature isn’t the only factor that affects cannabis crop yields, it’s a vital one for many reasons. It can promote growth, encourage bud formation, and increase the size of a crop’s buds.

6. Miscellaneous

Crop genetics are a crucial part of the puzzle when it comes to increasing cannabis yields. This includes selecting high-performing strains that are known for their vigor, THC content and terpene profile, as well as their aesthetic appeal.

While many commercial cultivators rely on trial and error to achieve optimal crop yields, there are also some tried and true methods that have proven effective. From maximizing the amount of pot size to adding stress during development, these techniques can have a huge impact on the end product.

Another key factor in crop success is climate control, particularly if you’re growing outdoors or using a greenhouse. Maintaining consistent temperatures and humidity can have a big impact on plant health and can lead to increased bud production.

Taking advantage of a good nutrient feeding program is an excellent way to improve a plant’s overall growth and productivity. By improving the nutrient uptake of plants, you can maximize their potential for producing large quantities of cannabis buds per harvest.

The use of microbial inoculants is another common practice used by growers to boost their crops’ growth. These microbial agents can be applied up until the day of harvest, which helps reduce the lag time between treatment and harvest and increases total crop yield.

While these methods are not a substitute for the scientific approach of crop breeding, they can be powerful tools in the hands of the right farmer. By leveraging the natural benefits of these microorganisms and enhancing the plant’s innate capabilities, you can improve your yields without resorting to costly chemicals.

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