Farmers receive sustainable cannabis farming

Sustainable cannabis cultivation It is one of the most complex and charged issues facing the industry today. As the market matures, companies must take into account significant environmental impacts and energy-intensive operations.

While many states legalize the plant, companies are building and refining electrical networks from coast to coast, building homes that add millions of square feet of roofs each year. Meanwhile, greenhouse producers are hiring more mixed light to produce better quality crops than their home counterparts, and consumers are struggling to survive as foreign farmers continue to prefer organic, full-blown snow, strong shoots.

In this context, the concept of “sustainable agriculture” is difficult to formulate or calculate. Nevertheless, regulators, scientists, and farmers are developing new technologies and incentives to help producers become more energy efficient.

Growing carbon footprint

Some of the largest domestic farming facilities in the United States are located in the region of up to 120ºF during the summer – the Las Vegas, Phoenix and California Cochela Valley. In contrast, states such as Michigan, Colorado, Massachusetts and Illinois regularly fall below 0ºF during the winter months. No matter where the indoor growth units are, there is one thing they have in common – good temperatures – 65ºF to 75ºF – and the right amount of moisture is needed for plants to be happy and healthy throughout their lives.

Researchers have recently begun to accurately measure emissions and develop cannabis growth both indoors and outdoors, but a new study by Colorado State University scientists provides the first in-depth information on the subject. The study, published in Sustainability of nature A.D. By 2021, it analyzed the energy and materials needed to grow its products and compiled the life cycle of indoor cannabis operations across the United States by compiling related greenhouse gas emissions.

The study shows that US domestic cannabis cultivation results in greenhouse gas emissions in a life cycle of 2,283 kilograms to 5,184 kilograms of carbon dioxide per cycle. In contrast, greenhouse production without additional lighting produces 327 kilograms of carbon dioxide, and 23 kilograms of outdoor farming.

California By 2016, Bill 64 had been developed, with huge development facilities being built in the southern states of the state, making the Kochela Valley one of the largest inland agricultural areas in the United States. ., Operates a 200,000-square-foot facility. The operation uses more than 3,000 high-powered lights.

For what Kyle wrote in a comment piece Sacramento Bee This summer he argued that domestic farmers should immediately switch to LED lights and planned to lead the company’s example. “Not all of them have the answers, but we are well on our way to developing methods and formulas to promote high-quality products while reducing the load on our LDs,” he said. King’s Garden plans to switch to LED lighting only by the end of 2022.

To reduce the pressure on the grid, the California Energy Commission has recommended that all domestic cannabis operators switch to LED lighting by 2023, but it remains to be seen how many manufacturers will follow the agency’s advice.

In other jurisdictions, lawmakers are reviewing energy use and developing regulations to limit the impact on power grids and the planet. According to the Denver Department of Public Health and the Environment, electricity consumption from cannabis farms and other products increased from 1 percent to 4 percent in Denver in 2013 and 2018. Lighting equipment can be used by manufacturers, and many utility providers have developed energy-saving reductions and incentive programs for farmers who install energy-saving HVC and lighting upgrades. Although natural gas turbines are considered “pure” energy sources and may be more expensive to operate than coal-fired plants, much of the industry in the United States and Canada is based on electricity grids.

Rehabilitation Farm

While indoor and greenhouse jobs are for most American cannabis growers, out-of-home, full-time farms have provided most of the weeds to medical markets in the West Coast. In this context, both shocking and tragic.

Outdoor cultivation currently represents a small percentage of total cannabis production in the United States, and in some states it is not even allowed as a legal production method. In terms of sustainability, however, there is strong evidence that outdoor farming is a very ecological process, and farmers in Northern California have been practicing organic farming for decades.

Photos – Sam Armanino

Located in the mountains of Southern Humboldt County, California, the Alpinglo fields are located at an altitude of 1,800 feet[1,800 m]above the fog of the valley. For the past two decades, co-founders Craig and Melanie Johnson have learned how to cultivate cannabis by designing habitats and cultivating cannabis in the most sustainable way possible. Their commitment to “rehabilitation farming” has been proven by DMN (Dragon Fleet Medicine), one of the most difficult criteria for sustainable farming in Northern California.

Alplinglow has an area of ​​about 10,000 square feet[10,000 sq m]of which 7,500 square feet[7,500 sq m]are made entirely of seeds for direct sunlight. “One of the things that really separates us is that in a typical farm they are probably bulldozers [the land] Set up flat, straight greenhouses or ground cover, and then use a smart pot or container or some kind of clay soil to irrigate only at the base of the plant, ”said Craig Johnson. “That causes a lot of trouble and a lot of work, because water is life. Everything, whether useful or fungal or pathogenic, needs to come to the base of that plant to get water. Of course, we tried to blur the boundaries of our gardens, and we treated our entire farm as a living biome.

The farm’s 450,000 gallons of rainwater runoff is filled in winter and spring to provide enough water for plants during the summer. The residence is solar powered and uses a small hydroelectric system powered by the flow of water in nearby rivers during the winter.

One of the most efficient and effective ways in which farmers can create sustainable farms is through “closed” farming practices, which continuously return nutrients and organic matter to the soil. On the Alpunglow Instagram page, Melanie posted a video showing how she uses cover crops to close several rings on a farm. Using high beds to grow grains, it absorbs nitrogen from the atmosphere, converts it, and stores it in mounds in the soil. Nitrogen-rich soils are used for cannabis crops. In addition, grains provide a ready source of food for chickens on the farm.

Operations such as Alpunglow may be a dead end in California, as industrial scale reduces the cost of greenhouses and home appliances and creates a steady supply of raw materials for companies in the floriculture market. However, most farms in the Emerald Triangle are small handicrafts that use some organic and / or redevelopment. Their challenge is to find new and convincing ways to market their flower buds to consumers with bag appeal and THC houseplants.

How thirsty is cannabis?

Cannabis farmers diverted water from streams and rivers, exacerbating the drought on the west coast. In fact, cannabis needs only a small amount of water to grow, especially when compared to traditional crops.

In household appliances, many technologies help farmers retain, treat, and reuse water from the basin. “One of our standard facilities has about 1,000 lights and 40,000 square feet of work, and we have been able to capture and clean about 60 percent to 70 percent of our total water needs,” he said. We have greatly improved our confidence in one of our most treasured treasures in the desert.

October 2020 Journal of Local Government Seasonal drainage and use patterns for cannabis water storage and irrigation practices have been published in Northern California. The researchers analyzed data from farmers enrolled in the North Coast Regional Water Board’s cannabis program, which uses cannabis to produce the same amount of water per hectare as crops.

“Cannabis has a very small footprint and is only part of the water used by agriculture in California as a whole,” said Theodore Grantham, a scientist at California Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Administration. The authors of the research report conclude: “Cannabis is not as thirsty as other crops. Permitted Humbolt [County] Cannabis fields are combined.

A.D. By 2022, the legal industry bubbles are estimated at $ 30 billion, and cannabis companies will build more greenhouses and home appliances to meet demand. We hope that they will prioritize sustainable and energy-efficient technologies as a market share and profit.

“States like California are doing the right thing by pushing [the industry] Let’s get up and do our part and do the right thing, ”said Kielle. “I believe that farmers in the industry should embrace and speak openly about these changes, rather than being afraid and intimidated.


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