How to Use Crop Scouting to Identify Issues in a Cannabis Grow

When growing a crop like cannabis in an indoor environment, it is important to be proactive with pest and disease management. Because these plants have not been bred for protected climates, they tend to be more susceptible to pests that have been adapted to thrive in the same protected environment.

Identifying biotic Symptoms

Crop scouting is a valuable tool for cannabis growers because it allows you to identify issues in your crop quickly and accurately. This will allow you to make the right decisions regarding the use of chemical controls and BCAs and adjust them based on the current disease and pest pressures in your crop.

If your plant is showing symptoms such as leaf spots, mildew, wilt, canker or root rot then it is most likely infected by a pathogen that is causing those symptoms to occur. These diseases are caused by fungi or other organisms that infect plants and produce mycelium (white filaments) and/or spores.

Some of the most common fungal pathogens to affect cannabis include Phytophthora, Fusarium wilt and Pythium. These are very destructive and can lead to a decrease in yields.

Phytophthora can damage cannabis by infecting the vascular tissue and causing the leaves to yellow and curl or turn brown. The fungi will also cause a white ring to form on the top of the stem.

The fungi will also grow at the bottom of the plant and cause a rotting effect on the roots. Once the fungi have infected the roots, the plant will not be able to absorb water or nutrients.

When this happens the plant will shrivel and become a weed. This is why it is important to monitor the ph of your nutrient solution. A pH range of between 7.0 and 8.0 is optimal for cannabis plants.

This is because a lower pH will cause the plant to take up less nutrients and a higher pH will help the plant absorb more nutrients. The ph of your nutrient solution should always be checked to ensure that it is in the correct range for your growing conditions.

It is important to note that the ph range for your grow will vary from plant to plant depending on their specific conditions and environment. For instance, the pH of a young plant will need to be slightly lower than that of an older, larger plant.

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Some of the abiotic factors that can affect a plant’s health are climate, light, water and soil. The right combination of these factors can allow your plants to thrive, grow and produce high quality harvests.

Identifying abiotic Symptoms

As a grower, it’s crucial to know how to use crop scouting effectively so that you can identify issues in your grow. Scouting is a key component of an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy that can help you protect your crops against pests and diseases.

When it comes to identifying issues in your grow, there are several things that you can look for. These include off-colored, chewed or stunted plants, and signs that your plants are wilting or dead.

You can also look for signs of insect damage and nutrient deficiency. Insect damage can result in off-colored leaves, fungus growth and wilting of the plant.

Similarly, nutrient deficiencies can be indicated by yellowing or browning of the leaf tissue and reduced yields. Nutrient deficiency symptoms may also indicate a plant’s health is being compromised, or that there are other issues that need to be addressed.

The onset and severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the specific pest and the weather conditions that are present in your area. Check local extension resources to determine when pests typically emerge, and begin your scouting routine accordingly.

Crop scouting is an essential part of any pest management program and is the best way to ensure that your grow is protected against disease and pest outbreaks. It’s important to conduct a full scouting assessment as soon as possible so that you can take action and minimize the risk of losing valuable crops.

It’s a good idea to make scouting a habit and scout once or twice a week, depending on your workload. To facilitate this, keep a bucket of scouting tools at the ready, including a clipboard and paper.

Another important tool to have for scouting is a hand lens or loupe. This will allow you to view your plant up close and take notes about the condition of the crop.

When you’re scouting your crop, you can also use a tally counter to keep track of your findings. This will allow you to identify areas that need attention, and to determine what type of countermeasures need to be applied.

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Identifying pests

Cannabis plants are often grown in greenhouses, which provide a protected environment for cultivation. This gives cannabis growers the ability to work year-round and at a faster rate, but also excludes natural pest enemies.

Indoor crops can experience stress, which attracts fungal pathogens and insect pests. These pests can be especially damaging to crops like cannabis because the plants are not bred for a protected environment and often have not been treated with fungicides, herbicides or insecticides.

When a crop is not properly managed, it can lead to major financial losses. One of the key ways to prevent this is to employ a comprehensive scouting program.

Scouting is a vital tool that can be used to identify issues in a cannabis grow. It can help you determine if your crops are infected with a disease or whether they are at risk of being attacked by pests.

The first step in implementing a crop scouting program is to ensure that your grow area is clean. This includes removing all old plant material and obvious fungal residue. You should also wash all tools and clothing that may contain plant material or other potential pests.

Another important part of scouting is to keep a record of all the data collected. You can do this by using a system of numbers and letters to indicate the severity of an outbreak. If you are able to identify a problem early on, you can act quickly and reduce your costs.

In order to be effective at scouting, you must have an intimate knowledge of the pests that are present in your cannabis grow. You must also know how to interpret the signs of an infestation and be able to distinguish between a healthy plant and a sick one.

There are many different types of pests that can cause damage to cannabis crops. Some common pests include thrips, spider mites and aphids.

These pests can be difficult to control due to their adaptability and their sporadic appearance. For a more comprehensive approach to controlling these pests, consider implementing a pest management plan.

Identifying diseases

Crop scouting is an important part of any grower’s crop management plan. It can help you identify issues in your cannabis grow that may require intervention before they become a problem.

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To start, divide your grow into areas and spend a set amount of time in each area. This will allow you to find any problematic plants or trouble spots before they get too big and develop into problems.

During your scouting, you’ll want to pay special attention to the buds and blooms. This is because they’re often the first to show symptoms of pest infestations or pathogens.

Infections of cannabis plants can occur at any stage of production, affecting roots, stems, crown tissues, leaves or flower buds. Symptoms include leaf wilting, stunting or shriveling of plants and plant death (Figure S1).

It’s also important to scout for the presence of microbes on cannabis buds. These microbes can be found on the buds’ surface, in their pith tissue or even on stem segments.

The microbial load on the buds can be assessed using various methods including petri dish drop plate assays and swabbing on the bud surfaces or on pith tissues (Figure S3 and Figure S4). Many of these microbes can survive the drying process, but microbial loads on buds pre-harvest may not reflect final cfu/g on the bud (Fig. S2).

Aside from a hand lens and microscope, other tools that are helpful for scouting include a clipboard, white paper to tap foliage over and plastic bags for samples. Some scouts may also use a trap container with a tight lid for transporting pests out of the grow so they can be examined closer.

If your scouts have to move between growing areas, it’s helpful to have clean lab coats for each room and disposable shoe covers or tray bleach washes between rooms. This will minimize the transfer of pests between growing areas and reduce the possibility that a problem from one room affects other parts of the crop.

If your team is unfamiliar with the biology of specific pests, it can be helpful to work with a trusted insect supplier to make in-person analyses. These people can give you an accurate description of the pest and can offer a mitigation strategy.

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