Future of Cultivation and Importance of Automation

Evolution of Agriculture 

Agriculture, like other fields, has evolved exponentially over the past decade. The number of growers has increased, and so have the methods to grow different crops, including cannabis; crop growth has become of primary importance. 

  1. Greenhouse farming, indoor farming, vertical farming, and inter-canopy are newer ways that growers cultivate their produce. 
  1. Due to lack of access to natural light, crucial factors to be kept in mind while setting up a new space are spectrum grow lights, airflow, spacing, and irrigation. 
  1. Automation in agriculture is becoming increasingly important so that growers can focus on quality and quantity. 
  1. Lighting, irrigation, and airflow can be controlled automatically.  

Now that you know about the evolution of agriculture, let’s take you through some challenges faced by growers. 

Challenges Faced by Growers 

It may seem as simple as planting seeds in mud and watering them consistently. Trust us, there’s much more than what meets the eye. The sheer time and effort are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some challenges faced by horticulturists:  

  1. Labor Shortage
    The growth of this industry is dependent on various factors – manpower being a major one. With the lack of skilled labor to do the job, expansion becomes a problem. 
  1. Crop Consistency
    Growers do not have complete data with reference to operations, climate change, and other factors. It is due to this reason that they cannot plan ahead and ensure quality and consistency of their produce. 
  1. Finance
    Media and federal regulators make it difficult for cannabis growers in particular to work with federally insured banks, thereby limiting prospects to smaller growers. This means that finance can be secured only through private operators.  
  1. Increase Produce
    The increase in demand for plants and their produce means that growers have to increase their output. However, it is difficult to do this without knowing and understanding the importance of automation in agriculture 

With such problems being faced in the 21st century, it’s difficult for growers to give their all and ensure consistent crop quality along with increased quantities to match up with the demand. Let’s see what the near future looks like for this industry. 

 

Future of Agriculture 

Farm automation is the future of agriculture – but that’s just in a nutshell. Here’s some in-depth information on what successful faming will look like a few years down the line: 

  1. Data-driven Decisions
    This is the era of data-driven decision making. With advance softwares and technology at ones fingertips, informed decision making will become easier as days go by. Monitoring the air, temperature, and pest management systems will become effortless. 
  1. Robotic Help
    Many other industries such as automobiles, pharmaceuticals, and construction have already adopted to using robots due to reduced human risk and increased efficiency. They will be brought in for tasks related to harvesting, packaging, and labelling to increase efficiency. 
  1. Grow Lights
    Grow lights are absolutely essential for year-round farming. They ensure crops get adequate light even during the night. An additional benefit is that this can be completely automated. The best part – they help lower electricity bills! 

Let’s deep-dive into the awesome benefits that Grow Lights provide horticulturists, since they’re the most easily available of the three. Plus, you can start your futuristic journey immediately! 

How Grow Lights are beneficial to horticulturists 

Grow lights are becoming a norm in the horticulture industry due to the plethora of benefits they offer. We’re listing them all down so you can make an informed decision: 

  1. Quicker Harvest Cycles
    Grow lights can be kept on 24 hours a day. This helps plants grow to their full potential in the least amount of time. This means quicker harvest cycles that result in a multiplication of profits for growers. 
  1. Optimal Plant Health
    Grow lights are contain light emitting diodes (LEDs). Unlike traditional lights, they do not cause a burning effect on plants. This results in plants not drying up and being in the Pink (or in this case, Green) of health. 
  1. Lower Electricity Bills
    Grow lights are extremely energy efficient, and reduce electricity bills by up to 30%/sq.ft. This in turn results in massive savings over the years. “Money saved is money earned” – exemplified! More profits mean more investment into business expansion. 
  1. Eco-friendly
    Grow lights are made with non-toxic materials, thereby ensuring minimal environmental pollution. In addition, they consume less energy, which helps reduce consumption of natural resources. 

Now that you know the benefits, let’s help you choose Grow Lights that will suit you best! 

Different types of Grow Lights 

Grow Lights are used for floriculture, green houses, medical cannabis, inter-canopy, vegetables, and more. However, different crops and enclosures have varied requirements. Given below are different types of Grow Lights: 

  1. Incandescent Bulbs
    There’s no cheaper option in the market other than the traditional bulb. However, they generate a substantial amount of heat, and hence, must be installed at least 2 ft away from the plants.  
  1. Fluorescent Lights
    This is the most popular choice for growers who conduct their practice in a small area. Form factors include bulbs and tube-style fluorescent lights. They produce less heat, are versatile, and more energy efficient than traditional bulbs, while being within budget. 
  1. High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
    These lights are slightly more expensive than the above options, but are extremely energy efficient, disperse lots of light, and help in growing vegetables, not flowers. They consist of Metal Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lights 
  1. LEDs
    Now the most popular type of grow lights, LEDs have quickly captured the market in ways that no other type of light has been able to do. This is due to their multiple form factors, low energy consumption, eco-friendliness, and benefits to plant quality and quantity. 

Whatever your requirement, rest assured there’s a grow light out there for you! If you’re still not convinced that they might be right for you, here’s an example of how a client benefitted that should make your decision easier. 

Case Study – Medisun 

Medisun is one of the many customers that have benefitted from Grow Light services. Its help increase their produce and reduce bills. Here’s their story: 

  1. About
    Medisun, a Canadian medical cannabis producer that started proceedings in 2000 by growing hemp on 2,300+ acres of land. 5 years later, a greenhouse was built on that very same land to grow bell peppers. By 2016, they started producing medical grade cannabis, and now operate on more than 800,000 sq.ft. 
  1. Problem
    With 100 + employees and overhead costs piling up, they had to look at a long-term solution. This also had to be beneficial to the cannabis as their mission was to contribute to a better industry, planet, and healthier lives for everyone. 
  1. Solution
    Grow Lights were installed across the premises. This help reduce electricity bills substantially, by about 30%/sq.ft. while bettering crop produce and reducing environmental damage – something that’s got them on the path of zero carbon waste in the next 5 years. 
  1. Results
    “We find that LED lights from Oreon give us short and more compact crops as well as shortening of crop sequences makes it feasible to complete one extra cycle per year. The potency of THC/CBD are as well improved overuse of traditional HPS/HID lamps. The lower electricity uses comes as an extra bonus”. – Laust Dam, COO at Medisun 

We’d love it if you could avail the same benefits as thousands of other growers. Not only will it help you better your crop quantity and quality, but also help reduce overhead costs by quite a bit. This in turn will help you reinvest money into expending your scale of operations. 

 

We can talk about our partners – Oreon – how together we are making this happen. If Oreon is only into cannabis production, then you can talk about it as well.  

Way Forward 

If you’re in the horticulture industry and want to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ – and even when it doesn’t – grow lights are an ideal option to ramp up your work. While everything mentioned above gives you a fair idea about grow lights and their benefits, we’ll be happy to get in touch with you to solve any queries. If you’ve already made the decision of going ahead with this service, we provide you with a FREE audit and proposal! Get in touch with us on info@enersavings.com or call us on (+1) 800 874 3470 

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