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In this lesson, Cameron discusses preparing your operation for harvest.
So the purpose of the pre-harvest procedure is really to make sure all your ducks are in a row for the full harvest, right? This is kind of include things like making sure all your tools are ready, making sure you got rubber gloves, making sure you got the staff needed to conduct the harvest that day.
Also doing an inventory and plant audit to make sure all the plants that are supposed to be in the system are in the system and are all present and accounted for. And also we’re going to be checking for things like bugs and pests and pathogens and other things.
So the real reason for doing this pre-harvest checklist is to ensure that your people are in place, your plants are ready to go, and the product is being well taken cared of, and it certainly is to ensure that the safety of the process is being maintained throughout.
The pre-harvest process is really relevant for anyone involved in the harvest side of the operations, but again this is going to require coordination between the flower manager, the cultivation manager, as well as the entire harvest staff so the harvest manager as well as the trimmers, and so on and so forth.
It’s maintaining this cohesion between these two units that will keep the operation running smoothly and effectively. So every organization is going to be using a particular compliant software. They’re designated by the state, but every compliant software is going to have the ability to track and trace function so you are tracking that plant from the time that it’s a clone all the way to the life cycle, through harvest, and then those plant tags are used for attacking wet weight and the green waste weight as these plants go through the harvest and drying and curing process.
Having a well-organized pre-harvest is really important and I like to think of it in terms of a checklist so you want to make sure that you got the people, the manpower that take care of your harvest. You also want to make sure that you have all the tools required for that harvest so that it can be done efficiently, effectively, safely, compliantly.
When it comes to the peak harvest window, it’s usually a pretty narrow frame. Most commercial cultivators will look for strains that are roughly 8 to 9 week photoperiods and they will run those strains together through the system so when one plant can come down they can all come down. It may or may not be exactly perfect coz there’s a whole lot of labor balance and other things that have to be taken into account. And this is all based on a master production schedule. So again, it’s usually 8 to 9 weeks and heading that with the strains accordingly that’ll meet that criteria is a commercial cultivator’s best friend.
The flushing process is when a cultivator uses about a 7 to 9-day window right before harvest to remove all the salt build-up that has accumulated in the plant and in the media. Cultivators will use usually like an arrow, whatever the water supply is, the sun’s nutrients, in order to remove this material. There’s additional products that can be added to the water to help speed it along or assist with it. But the flushing process will basically give you a more desirable finished product once you get through the drying and the curing.
The steps related to the plant inventory auto procedure really include extracting the plant list from your compliant software, then going to and ensuring that those plants are in the location that they’re supposed to be with regards to the room that they’re in and the tables that they’re on in order to ensure that as the plants come down they are accounted for in the harvest room and the tags are associated with things such as the whole plant wet weight and the green waste weight associated with those plant tags strain and total harvest batch.
So the cultivation manager’s inspection is really critical so we can identify any anomalous things in the room such as plants that may have a pest infestation, pathogen, burned tips, dwarf plants, etc. But it’s also to verify that the plants are where they’re supposed to be, the correct number of plants are in the room, and anything that could be problematic with regards to the harvest is identified and mitigated prior to the harvest.
When it comes to determining the best course of action for taking down a room, really for my perspective what you want to do is just make sure it’s not haphazard to you. You can start from the right and go to the left or start from the left and go to the right. Or you could go by quadrants, by strain, or maybe you want to get a most laborious or cumbersome strain first and it could be in the back corner. But certainly keeping it strain-specific is paramount when it comes to harvest. Now once you get beyond that, attack the room in a sort of organized way so that it keeps things moving along not only on the from the cultivation room side but that harvest has to now go up to the harvest room to be processed.
So when it comes to actually performing the harvest in the room, part of the pre-harvest process is to identify how many strains there are in the room and which would be the best strain to bring down first. The way that I like to approach the room is that if there’s a strain that looks like it’s going to be especially lanky or cumbersome or kind of all over the place, the one that’s going to be hardest to cut down is the one you want to do first. And that’s my methodology when it comes to everything in the production process but certainly when it comes to harvest you want to get the hardest plant out of the way first.
Pre-harvest for the harvest manager is slightly different than it is for the cultivation manager. But again, the two are working in tandem in order to ensure a very safe, compliant, efficient, and effective harvest.
On the harvest manager’s side, it’s going to include things like the scale, tag the scanner, making sure you got the right amount of staff, on the table setup, most appropriate workflow arrangement. You want to make sure you have enough sniffers, hand sanitizers, rubber gloves. Really the key here is to maintain efficiency and efficacy across from the flower room all the way to the drying room.
So the last piece to remember when it comes to the pre-harvest checklist is the drying room itself and ensuring that the mechanical pieces in the drying room are working properly so that when that room gets filled up with all your products you are able to ensure that the temperature and the humility and the airflow in the drying room environment is critical to the quality of your final product. It does not make any sense to have a perfect vent cycle, perfect flower cycle, and then end up with a room where you can’t control the environment and you lose your crop there.
So that wraps up the pre-harvest course, and we will see you next time.
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