Data science and cannabis are emerging, reshaping the functionality of cannabis agriculture. With help from robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), farmers can improve their crops to ensure the highest quality product for consumers. It has been predicted that legal, American cannabis sales are expected to reach $23 billion by 2025. Saying this, there are several ways technology can enhance cannabis growth, as well as the future of hemp agriculture.
There’s no specific instruction manual for producing hemp. To quote Kentucky hemp farmer Joseph Sisk, “Everybody wants to know how to farm hemp, but they don’t realize that everyone already growing hemp does it differently.” However, there are a few commonalities all hemp farmers share. For example planting.
Farmers can begin planting hemp between the end of May and start of June. The total population of planted hemp varies between 1,500-4,000 hemp plants per acre (contingent on variety). This accumulates as seeds are planted into 1-meter rows on flat ground over a span of 10 days. Any hemp clones are provided by an in-state processor.
Harvesting is when farmers begin developing unique methods. Rereferring to Sisk, “At the point of harvest, nobody is doing it the same. We’re all trying to figure out the best way regarding labor and logistics.” Traditionally, a farmer would need 40 people to harvest 200 acres of hemp crops in 5 weeks. Instead of this, robotics can save farmers a massive amount of time and energy. For example The Hemp Stripper.
After hemp is harvested, the Hemp Stripper will strip and separate the cannabis plant. The Hemp Stripper then strips the plant of its leaves, buds, and extra material. The outcoming product will be ready for refining, and can also be processed into oils.
Outside of this, there are more ways robots can assist cannabis growers.
Learning robots have the ability to recognize if a specific action reaches its desired outcome. This information is stored for any future instances the robot may come across that same scenario. Artificial Intelligence can assist in similar ways. In short, robotics provide the mechanical/physical action resulting from the knowledge artificial intelligence collects. AI can find impurities in the plants, including rotting or molding. AI can monitor the growing system remotely and run 24/7 tests on them. In more advanced cases, AI can update and customize growing factors based on an individual plant’s needs.
The CEO of Sugarmade, Jimmy Chan, says, “Hemp is becoming one of the world’s most valuable crops. Cultivators and investors are actively seeking ways to monitor the health and the crop to ensure maximum yields.” Chan continues, “We have launched this initiative to meet the pressing needs for cultivation monitoring of this valuable agricultural commodity.” Noting this, the business of hemp is only continuing to skyrocket. In fact, artificial intelligence and robotics aren’t the only technologies cannabis farmers are implementing into their methodology. Hydroponics and other tech play a role in sophisticating the quality of hemp. To find out more information regarding the tech used to grow hemp, continue reading.
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