In the Weeds • October 04, 2021
Data Driven Strain Management
Hello, everybody. Today's video is brought to you in part by METER Group. Today, I'm going to review the life cycle of your crop from start to sale.
So what I want to review is how, as a farmer, you could use some of this data to make key decisions and how some of this data might influence what strains you actually grow.
In this scenario, it takes 14 days for propagation. That means from the time you took the cutting to when you actually transplant it. 10 days for veg, 62 days for flower, 10 days to dry, 10 days to trim, 5 days to cure, and 30 days before the actual consumer purchases that good. So in this case, 141 days from start to finish.
Within this sequence, there're some key KPIs and also points where you could use this data to make better decisions. What I like to look at is how long from here to here before going into flower. So 14 days for propagation, 10 days for veg, that's 24 days. If I know my flower cycle is 62 days, that means that 62 minus 24 means 38. So 38 days into flower I should be taking my cuttings.
This will ensure that my plants are ready right on time and not a day sooner or later. That's inevitably going to save you money, helping your bottom line. With prices dropping, this is really, really important.
How do I know my plants are ready to go from veg to flower? What I'm looking at is planting height and planting density, all right? Because if I have a target finished flower height, and I know the start height that will achieve that within that specific strain, that's what I'm going to target in the veg and that's how I know my veg only takes 10 days, because if I'm targeting an 18-inch tall plant and I'm at a planting density of 0.36 plants per square foot, then I know how many plants I need to fill that flower room plus I know the target height.
So I could start calculating how many cuttings do I need to actually propagate? You always want to add a little percentage for loss or just to cull plants and choose the best out of them.
Now, one of the things that this will affect if you dial in your planting height and your plant density, it's inevitably going to reduce your labor hours and how much money you're spending on IPM. And it could also reduce how much you're spending on nutrients and substrate.
If you're planting too many plants into a room and you've nailed your veg height, that could cost you more in substrate. Once again, this is going to affect your bottom dollar.
One of the other things that I like to look at when choosing a cultivar is if I have two strains that take the same time in propagation and veg and flower, so these sequences equal, but one yields more than the other, I'm going to want to grow that strain.
Or, if I see that the yield is the same and this sequence is the same, how many labor hours did I put on it? So by recording this information into AROYA it's going to help you make decisions as to what strain is going to be more profitable.
Now, one of the things that a lot of people don't look at is how long does it take to trim your crop? So if one strain's yielding the same, taking the same labor hours, everything is the same up to here, but one is easier to trim than the other, that's going to affect the cost of goods as well.
So if a trimer could trim two pounds in a day versus the other strain that a trimer only trims a pound of the day, that's going to cost you more in labor here, which is affecting that bottom dollar.
One of the things that a lot of growers don't look at is how long does it sit on the shelf? Shelf life is really, really important. Nowadays. There're so many products for people to choose from that you might be growing AAA flower, but there're tons of AAA flower on the market. So what's the shelf life of that product? That is something I think that we need to start looking at as growers is what strain is going to care very longer and last better, and really not oxidize as quickly.
If we look at all these things, you'll inevitably dial in what strain you should actually be growing. I think it's kind of crazy how much people will chase the hype. I don't know any average consumer that doesn't grow weed that looks at the hype strains.
The number one sold strain in America is Blue Dream. There's a lot of jokes about it, but shit it is. So as farmers, we need to start making decisions on what strain we want to grow, instead of chasing the hype, focus on these key analytics and recording these key analytics to make better decisions, because the better we could prepare for our crop and know what equipment we're going to need, how much nutrients, how long all these things are going to take. The better we will be at being a profitable business. And with prices constantly plummeting we need to focus on that now. This is no longer grow it and it's going to sell and you're going to make money. Every dollar counts.
I learned a lot of this from the veg market and in that market, they know down to a tee the cost of their goods. And they also are looking for the micro amount of profit increase, or margin increase, in terms of productivity, or yield, to drive their business.
So they look for a 2% increase in yield, and that could equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars. And we need to focus on that same thing now as growers.
So if you are not using a platform like AROYA, I highly recommend you do because you can't create this timeline any other way. I mean, you could take notes, but we all lose our notes. So utilizing AROYA, we can manage all these things.
We can record plant height. We can record planting density, number of labor hours. When you're doing IPM. What your feed volume and EC is, and you could total all these things up to start making decisions as to which cultivar to grow and inevitably it's going to better the outcome of your business.
So I hope that you all start taking recognition into these key decision-making factors. And within that, start selectively choosing strains that will drive your business and focus on those strains. Give yourself a year, two years, of growing one strain consistently crop after crop so you could dial that in. And then once you have this recipe, you could go back and grow that strain anytime you want and know the profitability of that outcome and also know that the consumer is going to be getting a good product. Because there's nothing worse than growing something, getting to the point of sale and it looks great, but then 60 days later, 30 days later, it doesn't look so good on the shelf.
By the time it was dried, trimmed, cured, and then sold, you're looking at 30, 40, 50, 55 days. So it might look really, really good to you as a grower right when you're harvesting it but by the time it actually gets to the consumer, it might not look as good.
So let's focus on these things. Let's drive decision-making based on data and understand that with the right platform you could record all these analytics and make an educated choice as to what you're going to grow. Hope you enjoy this information.