Cannabis cultivators control environmental conditions to produce lush, top-shelf flower. Complete precision stands as the ultimate quest, and new technology monitors grow conditions with real-time data. This data monitoring empowers cannabis growers by allowing them to protect their harvest, optimize quality, and maximize yields. Numerous companies have spearheaded this thrust toward cultivation omniscience.
To start, Sensaphone® equips cannabis grows with sensors that monitor grow conditions and an auto-dialer that sends phone notifications “to notify you of threats.” The largest auto-dialer (see image) tracks up to 40 cultivation variables; these include temperature, ventilation, humidity, carbon dioxide, and water pH, all critical to plant health (with requirements often depending on development stage). Power outages and security breaches also trigger an alert. The emphasis is protecting plants from catastrophe, which can occur overnight if not monitored.
Sensaphone Express II Remote Dialer
Another company, urban-gro®, offers wireless sensor systems to monitor “micro-climates” in both the environment and substrate. The sensors track air and soil temperature within 1º C; electrical conductivity (for salinity and nutrition) of substrate within 1 mS/m; and light intensity within 5% accuracy. Algorithms even calculate vapor pressure deficit. One of the cool features is data visualization with heat maps, allowing growers to spot small areas of the room that are less than optimal and may, for example, harbor pests.
Aroya’s substrate sensors also allow cultivators to track soil/rockwool/coco moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity. The Aroya Nose (attached to sensor in image) reports light intensity through the canopy, helping growers ensure adequate coverage. The company offers a moisture analyzer for the drying process. They also manufacture a sensor for temperature and electrical conductivity in water tanks and pipes. In California, the software integrates with Metrc©, the state’s official cannabis tracking system.
Trym™ delivers sensor software that can be integrated with existing sensors or the company’s own hardware. Some of the interesting features of the software include plant and business analytics where the cultivator can predict yields and graph harvest conditions over time. Task management features allow the grower to coordinate their team remotely. These features depend, of course, on plant growth data tracked in a similar fashion to the aforementioned systems.
Today’s cannabis cultivators cannot afford to play guess and check. Monitoring cultivation data protects plants and allows for ultimate precision. The cultivator can thus manage and optimize harvests with consistency for profitability.