A great number of medical cannabis operations are carried out within greenhouses or indoor environments. Unlike outdoor grows, these types of operations come with whole different sets of issues that require to be addressed. One of these is humidity. The consequences of an uncontrolled humidity can cause substantial damages to cannabis crops, especially with regards to plant diseases and pest outbreaks. “Once you want to grow in a controlled environment you have humidity issues,” Hadar Fuchs-Rubal with DryGair explains.
DryGair is a company that manufactures humidity control systems that help growers solving the most pressing problems with climate control and crop protection within cannabis indoor or greenhouse grows. “The risks associated with high levels of humidity are mainly related to plant diseases and pests.
For instance, powdery mildew thrives within humid environments, but then it can spread even when they are dry. Therefore, you have to prevent the condition that can lead to the disease,” Hadar says. “Another problem is the Alternaria, which is very similar to the botrytis. These pathogens can compromise a huge part of the crop thus causing considerable crop losses.”
The team with DryGair on the CannaTech 2019
Humidity build-up is a big issue
Thus, humidity build-up is a major problem within the cannabis industry according to Hadar. “There are different conditions that triggers humidity build-up in indoor farms and greenhouses,” she points out. “For instance, indoor environments are closed growing systems, and therefore it is necessary to control the climate 24/7. The structure of cannabis flowers is very dense, and there are elements that generate a lot of water within. This element greatly influences humidity build-up within indoor grows. On the other hand, greenhouses have sunlight going in the growing rooms. Therefore, especially during the morning or during nightfall, humidity spikes and we need to be very flexible to control that.”
That is why DryGair proposes a solution that adapts a small-scale grow concept to large-scale operations. “prior to legalization, cannabis growers used to utilize small dehumidifier or air conditioning to control the humidity of the cultivation. Thing is, that technology was not designed for those purposes. That is why we created a dehumidifier that is specifically suitable for these kinds of large-scale operations,” Hadar explains. “Every grower has very high energy cost. Therefore, it is extremely important to grow in the most economical and efficient way.”
The importance of air circulation
According to Hadar, DryGair units greatly improve the air circulation within growing rooms, preventing humidity build-up and providing a clean environment for the plants to grow. “For instance, we were contacted by a grower that was using crop protection products to fight a pest outbreak. However, he did not notice he was having humidity problems. Therefore, he experienced a 80% crop loss. Then, he decided to resort to different tools and solutions, and the yield loss dropped to 30-40% - which is still a too high of a number. Eventually, he decided to opt for DryGair solutions and the yield loss was negligible.”
Hadar continues explaining that all the units are designed with agronomist and engineers that are very much aware of the problems medical cannabis growers encounter. “The most important aspect of our unit beside the energy efficiency in dehumidification, is that it creates air circulation within the growing spaces. In this way, for instance, next to the unit and on the other side of the growing room, you get the same temperature and humidity at every plant height. “
As a concluding remark, Hadar adds that “We are very active inside cannabis drying rooms as well. We have achieved very good results as DryGair solution helps controlling the plant dry process”.