The impact of different types of crop diversity on cannabis yields is an important consideration for weed growers. This is because cannabis has several determinants that affect yield, including genetics, environment, lighting, and temperature.
Yield is one of the most critical metric of any cultivation operation. However, it is also one of the most difficult to measure accurately.
The impact of different types of crop diversity on cannabis yields is an important consideration in cultivar selection and breeding. For instance, the high levels of genetic diversity in plant genomes may allow breeders to develop new cultivars with greater yield potential by modifying the plant’s architecture and its ability to produce large amounts of flowers or trichomes.
Crop diversity can also affect the chemistry of a given cultivar, as well as its overall growth and development. For example, the presence of a particular genetic locus that codes for an enzyme responsible for cannabinoid synthesis can alter the pharmacological properties of a cannabis strain.
Genetics has become a critical component of agricultural research and a major contributor to the improvement of crops. Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar from the 19th century, was a pioneer in this area and helped establish the scientific principle of inheritance.
In the current era, many of us have been introduced to the concept of gene flow through genetically modified organisms. The goal of gene editing is to modify a single DNA sequence and thereby create a variant that produces a specific trait, such as an increase in flower density or a lower THC concentration.
These changes can be achieved by inserting a corresponding sequence into the genome of a yeast strain and feeding it with the correct sugars to synthesize a desired compound. In recent years, scientists have successfully engineered yeast that spit out the acid form of cannabichromene (CBC), a rare, non-psychoactive cannabinoid thought to have antiinflammatory properties.
In addition to enhancing the pharmacological profile of plants, genetic modification can help cultivators produce high-quality clones with greater resilience against biotic stresses. In addition, it can help growers protect against climate change-related weather events by shortening growing cycles.
Crop diversity is a key element of crop resilience and helps crops adapt to changing conditions. It also ensures that farmers can continue producing food and meet market demands. In addition, crop diversity can protect against pests and diseases, improve productivity and help to avoid the negative impacts of harvesting repeatedly on the same land.
However, over the last century, genetic plant diversity has significantly decreased across many different crops. In some cases, this is due to public investments in agricultural research and development that have tended to focus on improving domesticated varieties rather than breeding new ones.
Cannabis is no exception to this trend. According to a recent report from the Syngenta Foundation, one of the world’s largest cannabis companies, there has been a significant drop in genetic diversity among the many strains of cannabis being produced.
This is partly due to the increased use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers for agricultural production, as well as a decrease in investment in regenerative cultivation practices. The decline in crop biodiversity is a major issue for the global economy and poses a threat to human health as well.
For cannabis, environmental impact is particularly relevant since it can lead to contamination of freshwater ecosystems and potentially cause health effects from THC-COOH and D-9-THC in downstream fisheries and mussels. Moreover, it may increase global warming emissions because of the high energy intensity of indoor cannabis cultivation.
Despite these challenges, many studies are finding that cannabis can be grown with minimal impact on the environment. For example, a paper published in Nature Sustainability calculates that the carbon footprint of mass indoor cannabis cultivation across the United States is between 2.2 and 5.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide per kilo of dried flower.
The impact of different types of crop diversity on cannabis yields has not been fully explored. The majority of studies have focused on subsistence farmers in the developing world, although increased research is needed to understand how diversification may increase industrial production within agroecological settings.
One of the main factors influencing cannabis yield is light intensity. As with most other horticultural crops, cannabis plants need to be able to absorb all of the available light when flowering. This is the time when the plant is most active and requires high levels of energy.
Several studies have shown that increasing the light intensity in flowering can lead to improved yields and higher concentrations of cannabinoids. Most cultivators recommend increasing light intensity to 800 to 1500 umol/m2/s PPFD during flowering.
Lighting also impacts the morphology of the plant and the phytochemicals produced during growth. A recent study used a randomized complete block design to assess the impact of 5 experimental LED light treatments on cannabis plant morphology and cannabinoid concentrations.
The effects of different light spectra were evaluated on the cannabis plant by measuring plant dry weight partition, height, and cannabinoid concentration (THC, CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol [THCV], and cannabigerol [CBG]). A student T-test was used to compare the differences between replicates.
The results of this study suggest that increasing the amount of blue light in a grow room can increase the number of flowers per plant while maintaining overall yield and cannabinoid concentrations. However, this effect is only likely to be observable when using a specific chemotype of cannabis.
Temperature is one of the most important factors for growing a high-quality, healthy cannabis crop. It influences nearly every aspect of a plant’s development, from seed germination and drying to curing and product quality. When cannabis grow facilities or personal use growers fail to grasp how temperature influences other environmental conditions, they produce substandard crops.
For example, if you provide your plants with a grow room with temperatures above 35 degrees Fahrenheit, they will struggle to photosynthesise and water efficiently. This can negatively affect their growth and the strength of their buds.
This is why it is crucial to implement a Koolfog cannabis fogging system to optimize your cannabis microclimate for optimal plant health and production. The perfect temperature conditions will encourage strong, resilient plant growth and a consistent harvest.
Another factor that affects a plant’s health and production is humidity. Too much or too little moisture can cause plants to develop yellow tips and burnt leaves, which can be detrimental to harvesting.
Many species of plants, including cannabis, are tolerant to a range of temperatures and humidity conditions, so it’s crucial to keep this in mind when managing your cultivation facility. For example, strains that prefer warmer temperatures may be best suited for areas with hotter weather in the summer.
Keeping your cannabis in the right range of temperature will not only prevent heat stress but also help them to develop a stronger and more potent harvest. Cooler nighttime temperatures can encourage flowering, while warm daytime temperatures can inhibit bud formation and flower growth.
The impact of temperature on cannabis yields is a major concern for commercial growers, as it directly affects the yield and economic return of their operation. However, it’s not impossible to achieve a perfect balance between temperature and humidity levels throughout a cannabis plant’s life cycle.
Cannabis is an agricultural product and is often cultivated on marginal land that is ecologically important. Consequently, its cultivation may increase landscape perforation and lead to degradation of natural ecosystems at multiple scales. Moreover, it may affect water availability and quality in surrounding areas (Bauer et al. 2015).
The amount of water needed for the cultivation of cannabis depends on a variety of factors, including region, soil properties, weather, and cultivation techniques. However, in general, cannabis is considered a high-use water plant.
Generally, it uses about 450 gallons per plant indoors and about twice that much outdoors — several times more than the daily water consumption of an individual in the United States. The number of plants can vary based on growing techniques and location, making it difficult to standardize the average daily water usage of cannabis production.
As a result, water conservation strategies are important to reduce water demand and minimize environmental impacts. It is recommended that cultivation sites develop water management plans and implement efficient irrigation techniques to ensure sustainable water use in the long run.
It is also necessary to monitor cannabis water demand and to identify best water management practices, such as precision irrigation. Developing methods to quantify water use and evaluating its impact on downstream freshwater ecosystems would be helpful to advance knowledge about the sustainability of cannabis cultivation.
As the global demand for food grows, farmers are faced with increasing demands for energy and water. In addition, the global climate is changing and will require increasingly expensive water supplies in the future. In turn, these issues will have a significant impact on the cultivation of crops. To minimize the environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation, identifying best practices such as precision irrigation and enhanced climate control are critical.