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Practical Tips for Cannabis Pathogen Prevention

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.

Visit this page to see which pathogens are most prevalent in your state.

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.


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The Advanced Nutrients Team

Since 1999, Advanced Nutrients has been committed to educating the community and bringing the most up-to-date knowledge to the forefront of grows across the globe. Every article you read here has been curated by Advanced Nutrients’ industry experts, so you can continue raising your bud weight… and your reputation.

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Over time, components within the nutrients settle on the bottom of the bottle. When you pour a bottle without shaking it, you can potentially be pouring out an unbalanced solution. Shaking up the nutrient bottle ensures you are pouring the right blend into your reservoir, giving your crops the nutrition they need.

Usually, it’s not a problem. But some products are incompatible with each other and can damage your plants when they’re used together. For example, bloom boosters with high PK numbers or low-grade silica products can destabilize your nutrient mix and cause nutrient lockout.

Nutrient manufacturers design their products to be used with each other. In doing so, they include specific portions of each nutrient in each product, so crops receive the right nutrition through each stage of the grow cycle. When you stick with one manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently destabilizing your nutrient mixture. One example of why you need to stick with only one manufacturer’s products is Advanced Nutrients’ pH Perfect line. These products are designed to keep your crops’ root zone within a specific pH range. When you use them alongside products from another manufacturer, we can’t guarantee your root zone will maintain its optimal pH level.

Yes! If you’re growing with Advanced Nutrients products, you can use our easy nutrient calculator to generate the correct nutrient chart for your crops in seconds. Check out Advanced Nutrients’ nutrient calculator here. Another great resource is our library of free custom-growing recipes. Try our expert grower-tested nutrient schedules here.

You can also download our official BudLabs app to generate nutrient schedules and receive real-time notifications for specific tasks, including feeding your crops. Upgrade to BudLabs Pro to maintain profiles on an unlimited number of crops.

If you are a grower, visit this link to find the closest Advanced Nutrients Authorized Retailer. If you are a retailer, visit this link to identify our official distributors.

Our greatest passion is growing great cannabis—and helping other growers do the same. That’s why we offer complimentary cultivation support 24/7 from Monday to Friday and from 9 AM until 7 PM PST on Saturday… With the same level of advice licensed producers would pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to unlock.
Just call 1-800-640-9605 or email support@advancednutrients.com. For Spanish-speaking growers, email spanishsupport@advancednutrients.com.

Yes! If for any reason you are not absolutely thrilled with the results you achieve when you use our products, just bring the unused portion, along with your original sales receipt, back to the place of purchase within six months, and ask for your money back. Find out more about our Grower Guarantee here.

Advanced Nutrients has spent many thousands of man-hours developing a technology that automatically balances your pH for you — putting it in the “sweet spot” and holding it there for one week.

And the technology is so “smart” that it can account for many of the aforementioned variables in your grow room. Our proprietary pH buffering agents and stabilizing mechanisms became the foundation of a new system aptly called pH Perfect® Technology. Learn all about it here.

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