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Dialing in on data for strain specific terpene profiles

One of the most amazing benefits cannabis cultivators get when they utilize technology that allows for deep data collection is how much sight they can gain into their grows.

For operations looking to get the largest return on their investments, it’s important to offer strains that deliver the experience cannabis customers want. As consumers become more educated about terpenes and the myriad of terpene profiles that deliver these different experiences (and even health benefits), growers must start taking these organic compounds into account when steering their crops. But how do you dial in on what works, not only for your plants, but the market and your business? For that answer, we need to talk about cannabis terpene analysis that's now made possible by emerging sensor technology.

Crop steering for cannabis strain terpene profiles 

We’re just starting to unlock all of the ways crop steering can be used in cannabis terpene analysis for individual strains. But even without a lot of tech, cultivators seeking to enhance terpene expression can begin implementing new techniques to boost terpenes profiles for different strains today. It's going to take a little data, though. For instance, say you want to grow Wedding Cake and boost its primary terpene, limonene. Start by learning about what that cultivar likes, collecting as much data as you can, like stem diameter and plant height. If you have sensors to help you get precision measurements into things like lighting and your root zone, that’s even better (which is where you really get insights about terpene profiles by strain, straight from your plants). Document that progress via crop registration during and after each run, so you can hone in on techniques that work. But what should cultivators look for when collecting data to help them boost terpene profiles of different strains?

One factor to keep a close eye on when crop steering for terpenes is lighting level. A light reader or sensor that measures PPFD can help you with that. Another crop steering technique to boost terpenes that we’ve seen is temperature. During the last week of flower, dropping air temperature by 5-10 degrees has been seen to help increase oil production because it signals to the plant that winter is coming and it needs to produce its essential oils now. This is why having sight into your grow room’s environment is crucial, and where having a climate station can help. And terpene-tailored nutrient blends come in handy, too. Analysis of terpenes in cannabis is easier when you have a platform to help you collect make sense of the things. Of course, every cultivar is different, which is why it’s important to have both real-time and historical data to be able to lean on to make your crop steering decisions.

Now that you’ve started documenting data and doing proper crop registration in AROYA, the next step is thinking about goals for your plants. Where do you need to fine-tune? What techniques can you tweak? What about your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)? Set new benchmarks for each strain and every growth phase, based on what you’ve learned. If you’re already familiar with a specific cultivar, you can use data to tighten up what you’re doing and continuously improve, run over run.

Another added benefit of having data at your fingertips is the insight it gives you into ROI for your canna-business. Easily spot which strains grow well together and in similar environments based on precision data coming straight from your plants and their environment. Learn which genetics consume too many resources for your bottom line, so you can trim those from future runs. And dial in on what’s working for your grow and setup. Having the right tools can help.

Data-driven cannabis terpene analysis

Documenting progress in key, but make it easy. At the end of the day, it’s all about starting where you’re at with the tools you have. Growers who adopt technology and software to help them gather, analyze, and act on data can make more informed decisions when crop steering to boost terpenes. Combine this new power with legacy knowledge and passion for the plant and just imagine what’s possible.

Dive into this topic a little more on episode 55 of AROYA Office Hours.

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