R&D sees positive results in new aeroponics trial
With every new development, Tweed’s researchers seem to prove there are few topics more compelling than the science of cannabis. In seeking out innovative grow techniques and new ways of maximizing the plant’s potential, our research and development team is daily mapping the course for the future of this industry.
One innovation being explored under our canopy is the prospect of employing aeroponics technology to the cultivation of cannabis. After a successful run of Princeton (Ghost Train Haze) in December, R&D earlier this month harvested a crop of Balmoral (UK Cheese). The results showed a marked improvement over our last aeroponics trial.
Investigating new pruning and lighting techniques, the team worked with more than double the plants of the past harvest and watched the crop soar. Though the Balmoral they grew out is a tall phenotype to begin with, our team says the crop skyrocketed – Jack and the Beanstalk style!
In the end, they needed ladders to get at the tops of the plants. According to Katya Boudko, our R&D Manager, it was worth the climb. “For the first cycle it was up to a 30% increase in yield under HPS lighting from the average production yields,” she says. “This time around, yields of Balmoral were increased by up to 46%, depending on what we did to each plant.” She says the team was “experimenting with pruning practices, so we did find quite a variance in terms of yield.”
The aeroponics system we were provided last year by Indoor Harvest – a Houston-based company that specializes in production platforms for the indoor farming industry – has been fitted with a number of specially-designed accessories to suit our needs. For the upcoming third run, our aeroponics chamber will be equipped with a redesigned tub and lid combination for more efficient drainage and better efficiency of the embedded HVAC system.
Chad Sykes, CEO of Indoor Harvest, believes aeroponics technology will be of significant use to cannabis researchers from this point forward. Expanding its focus from indoor farming, the engineering company is in the process of commercializing aeroponics for cannabis cultivation.
To do that, Indoor Harvest is custom-engineering its products based on the needs of clients like Tweed. “During the production phase what we can do is make changes to the light spectrum, environmental conditions, the nutrients and, within hours, start to notice plant response using leaf sensors,” he says. “At the end of the day, what our platform allows cultivators to do is develop specific recipes for specific cannabis genetics to produce a specific cannabinoid terpene profile.”
The third and final small-scale aeroponics trial will make use of a second-generation chamber and the team will again be experimenting with pruning techniques and optimizing plant and nozzle spacing. In the near future, we hope to transfer the data being gathered by R&D to a large-scale trial in one of our flowering rooms.
Here’s to Future Growth!
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