MJBizMag August 2020 - 106

QuestionoftheMonth | Planning for the Fall Harvest
By Omar Sacirbey
E
ach month we survey a group of marijuana industry executives
and ask them an important industry question. We welcome your
suggestions for topics. Email us at magazine@mjbizdaily.com.
Harvest season is fast approaching for outdoor growers, so we asked:
How do you prepare for fall harvest?
Jay Bouton
Director of Cultivation, Culta, Cambridge, Maryland
We have 20,000 square feet of newly constructed dry room that we use to hang, dry and
cure the outdoor harvest. To make harvest more efficient, we strategically place strains in
the field to line up with the dates each one finishes. This allows us to clear the field quickly.
Before harvest, we defoliate heavily toward the end of the season to increase the
amount of sunlight that penetrates into the canopy.
As for special equipment, during harvest we use leaf-defanning machines to remove
all of the unwanted plant material as well as take leaf off by hand. We also use Mother
Bucker bucking machines to remove flowers from stems more efficiently.
We hire extra labor for the harvest push-last year, we hired 15 temp workers, but it has
yet to be seen how many we will need this year.
We utilize freeze-drying technology on a portion of our harvest as well, which helps
ensure that the best product possible can be delivered to our processing lab.
Anthony Bowen
Director of Cultivation, Nova Farms, Attleboro, Massachusetts
Outdoor cultivation in the Northeast can be unpredictable, and you always need to be
prepared to pivot. Throughout the season, Nova Farms maintains a weekly IPM (integrated
pest management) program to ensure optimum plant health. Our staff will monitor the
progress of each cultivar from week to week and determine the proper time to harvest.
We complete all our final pre-harvest compliance checks and begin harvesting utilizing
a combination of traditional hand-harvesting paired with automation to ensure efficiency
and preservation of each batch. We approach harvest with an all-hands-on-deck mentality.
The entire Nova Farms team shares the hard work that goes into it and comes together to
celebrate a successful harvest collectively.
Curtis Wallace
Head of Cultivation, WeedMD, Aylmer, Ontario
We learned a lot from our inaugural outdoor experience last year. We were able to
discern which cultivars are optimal outside and what is needed in the way of nutrients,
irrigation control and soil management for the seven strains we selected this year.
With the data we collected about flowering patterns, cannabinoid/terpene profiles,
harvest windows, etc., we mapped out and adopted a robust set of protocols and
processes. A very important aspect is the awareness of the labor, equipment and
gear required throughout the season.
Our 27-acre outdoor field is located on the same property as our hybrid greenhouse, so
we are able to utilize our staff on-site as needed, along with a newly built, 25,000-squarefoot,
stand-alone, fully licensed processing facility that is solely dedicated to the outdoor
harvest during those months.
104 Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2020
How do you
prepare for
fall harvest?

MJBizMag August 2020

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