The cannabis plant reacts to stress by producing specific cannabinoids. Growers are very much aware of the importance of inducing positive stress to the cannabis plant to trigger a specific response.
The concept of crop steering exactly describes the process of tweaking the growing conditions in such a way that the plant gets stressed thus developing the desired quantity of a specific cannabinoid or compound.
At the same time, it is critical to remember that a plant needs to be well prepared to respond to said stresses. Therefore, the initial condition to start with is indeed no stress at all.
Indeed, in the early stages of the vegetative period, the energy of the plant must be directed towards the growth and not the flowers. After the plant has reached a certain maturity, then stresses can be gradually implemented so to steer the crop in a given direction.
Generally speaking, every environmental variable in a grow can be used to steer the crop. Growers mainly rely on lowering the water content or increasing the EC and the VPD. Another way for inducing stress to a cannabis plant is through photoperiodism, as well as shifting light intensity.
However, the best way to understand the best crop steering technique for a given operation is by collecting data about the growth. Generally speaking, data collection is paramount when it comes to such a large-scale horticulture operation, and this is even more important for cannabis, considering how highly valuable such a crop is.
By relying on the data a grower can collect, it is possible to predict the crop performance, allowing better optimization of the stress-inducing techniques.