Commercial cultivation is growing in spades. And when it comes to pathogen prevention, the stakes have never been higher.
Just take a look at these shocking statistics…
Out of 13.2 billion dollars of cannabis cultivated, 3.9 billion was lost to pests and diseases.
That’s a 30% profit loss across the industry.
On the other hand, when you successfully protect your plants from pathogens, your yields increase 50 to 75 percent.
So how do you practically handle a pathogen crisis that’s sweeping across cannabis facilities?
Read on to discover nine practical steps every commercial grower should implement right now to safeguard their crops from pests and diseases.
Pathogen Practical advice
Cleanliness – Sterility is key. Use bleach (or virkon) for cleaning — alcohol does not kill all pathogens. Dead plant matter, loose soil, and unclean gardens create safe harbors for pests and pathogens, making it difficult to identify problems.
Quarantining – Make sure to quarantine and test any new genetics you bring into your facility. Because pathogens can be present in seeds as well, quarantining new genetics and testing them before introducing them is critical to preventing potential facility-wide infections.
Healthy plants – Vigorous plants are far more capable of defending themselves against pathogens. Avoid stressing your plants too much, maintain appropriate environmental conditions, and feed them correctly. The right nutrients go a long way to fostering healthy crops that can protect themselves against pests and diseases.
SAR/ISR elicitors – Prevention is cheaper than treatment. SAR/ISR eliciting compounds are proven to not only improve yields and quality, but are also a very effective way to protect plants from pathogens.
Microbial inoculations – Inoculating your substrate creates a proven barrier to many pathogens. Because pythium, fusarium and other pathogens are known to attack roots, inoculating your substrate serves as an effective prevention strategy.
Scouting – It’s critical to catch pathogens and treat infected plants early, preventing them from spreading further throughout your facility. Continuously scout for and record infected plants, and note where in your facility they’re located. This data becomes a vital tool for quickly recognizing and addressing problem areas, susceptible strains, and developing effective prevention strategies.
Testing – Consistent testing is key. Some pathogens are latent; by the time symptoms present, the damage is done. Make sure to test mother plants, as infections can travel quickly through clones. Test new genetics before releasing them from quarantine, even if they appear healthy.
SOP’s – Always implement and religiously follow SOPs in your facility. The importance of sanity procedures upon entering the facilities, sterilizing tools, and regular inspections cannot be overstated.
Environmental control – Some pathogens, like PM or botrytis, may be present despite your efforts to keep them at bay. Environmental controls can help prevent these pathogens from infecting your crops despite their presence in your facility.
On May 16 at CannMed, BigMike will host a Cultivation Workshop that digs deep into the strategies you can implement to safeguard your plants — and your profits — from widespread pathogens threatening the industry.
From expert pathologists to professors of plant biology, this CannMed panel will provide practical, actionable advice that not only helps prevent pests and diseases, but also helps increase yields for a maximum ROI from every crop.
Visit this page for more information.