Cannabis crops 200pc bigger? Yes, please
Food & Agriculture
Special Report: Bigger is better – at least when it comes to cannabis crop yield.
Roots Sustainable (ASX:ROO) has just demonstrated its technology can increase the average weight of cannabis plants growing in an open field by more than 200 per cent.
Roots has been testing its Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) heating technology in challenging conditions in an open field pilot in Washington State.
New figures released today show a 60 to 283 per cent increase in the average cannabis dried untrimmed bud weight for plants heated with Roots’ technology.
The heated plants also recorded a higher average dried weight of cannabis leaves.
That’s even an improvement on the interim results released in December which had shown a 40 to 272 per cent increase in average plant wet weight compared to unheated control crops.
A budding opportunity
These open field tests are encouraging for licensed cannabis producers, as the increased yield is likely to generate substantial additional revenues.
The test compared 81 heated plants against 82 unheated plants across eight cannabis strains.
The average weight of the dried flowers increased by more than 200 per cent in three of the strains, compared to the unheated control plants. Yield increases were dependent on the strain of cannabis tested as well as the heat management system used.
Roots CEO Dr Sharon Devir said that the successful pilot shows the versatility of its climate management technology.
“The global cannabis market offers significant opportunities for our root zone heating and cooling technology, with promising results in both greenhouse and open field environments.
“The highly competitive US cannabis market is increasingly adopting agtech solutions, which lower initial capital outlays while maximising crop production, quality and profit year-round.”
Current market prices, together with the RZTO performance results, suggest that cannabis growers using the innovative technology could generate an extra US$150,000 – US$300,000 per 30,000 square feet per season.
For most treatments and breeds, this equates to a return on investment in one year.
American Farms Consulting, which partnered with Roots on the pilot, believes that the RZTO technology will help its farmers to mitigate the risks of growing high-value crops in open fields or light deprivation tunnels.
“Increased supply in the market has constrained prices, and this is driving the adoption of agtech equipment which facilitate year-round crop production with higher returns,” said Chief Executive Elad Kohen.