Smart irrigation systems allow cannabis farmers to increase yields through precisely metered irrigation.
Cannabis, or simply cannabis, is a water-intensive crop and difficult to grow in regions with dry climates. Finding sources of clean water is also a challenge. As cannabis cultivation becomes a global industry worldwide, agritech specialists began to develop new irrigation systems with artificial intelligence.
Growing any crop requires sufficient water, fertilizer and light. However, when farmers grow cannabis to be processed into medicinal drugs, much more water and fertilizer are needed to produce a quality crop.
Water use is one of the major environmental issues associated with commercial cannabis production. Industry estimates show that the cannabis plant needs about 22 liters of water per day, much more than grapes grown for a winery.”
For cannabis cultivation to be environmentally friendly, licensed growers must take water conservation into account. Smart water distribution systems for watering cannabis can significantly reduce grower costs and increase profit margins.
Hemp grows best when water is distributed evenly and over a controlled period of time to avoid under-watering on the one hand and over-saturation on the other. However, it is not only the quantity of water that is important, but also the quality of the water. Cannabis requires a constant supply of clean water.
Water delivers nutrients to plants, but it can also contain harmful impurities. Even tap water, which many of us drink all the time, can be dangerous for medical marijuana. It can contain solid minerals such as iron, manganese, lead, copper or zinc, which can lead to serious nutrient deficiencies. Untreated water can also contaminate the medical marijuana growing environment with other hazardous elements, including herbicides, pesticides, fungi and bacteria.
Water filtration helps reduce the risk these contaminants pose to plant quality and crop size. Today’s smart irrigation systems help growers achieve both the right balance of moisture and perfect water clarity throughout the plant life cycle.
Smart irrigation technology can also include water purification systems through high-tech filtration. For example, one of South America’s leading flower growers has tried in every way to kill parasitic worms in the local river water used to irrigate flowers. A disinfectant such as chlorine does kill the worms, but it causes irreversible damage to the plants! Water Ways Technologies has provided a South American flower grower with a self-cleaning filter water treatment system that does not require chemicals.
The global market for smart ag technologies is expected to reach $10.55 billion by 2025. Irrigation represents the largest segment of this market. Leading Israeli companies such as Netafim and NaanDanJain Irrigation offer smart irrigation systems for large-scale medical marijuana cultivation.
Cannabis is not like most crops. For its licensed growers to remain competitive, they must be able to offer a high-quality product at a low cost of production. By reducing waste, smart irrigation technologies help medical cannabis companies maintain their competitive edge.