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Fighting mold and pathogens with a 'lighting wand'

CEA facilities boast the most extreme, sophisticated systems of the agricultural industry. Whether it is a vertical farm, a single-tier cannabis indoor cultivation, or a gigantic tomato greenhouse, growers have to deal with extremely complex systems. Even though one might be taking all the precautions, there is still one insidious enemy that could find a way to sneak into the cultivation: mold. “When you grow a plant in a CEA facility, the balance between temperature and humidity is the perfect breeding ground for mold,” says James Millichap-Merrick, CEO, and co-founder of Vitabeam. “This is especially true after the summer when temperatures cool down giving cold temp at night and warm during the day: the perfect environment for molds.”

Enter mold
Mold is one of the main issues cannabis growers faces. “The problem gets even bigger when you see that cannabis growers cannot make use of any chemical product, basically,” James Millichap-Merrick, CEO, and co-founder of BioRadiance says. “Growing medical cannabis is a completely different beast of its own. Unlike ‘traditional’ horticultural growers, cannabis growers want their flowers to have specific concentrations of the different cannabinoids. To achieve this, they have to perfectly balance the different variables of the cultivation facility. Yet, if a spore finds its way into the cultivation, then the real problem begins. This can happen, for instance, through unfiltered air getting into the facility, or untreated irrigation water. But also employees working around plants might carry spores: at the end of the day, humans are the pathogen carriers number one.”

On the left: Without the BioRadiance BRe3 Wand; on the right: With the BioRadiance BRe3 Wand With the BioRadiance BRe3 Wand  

Every cannabis flower indeed gets tested for contaminants before it is allowed to be marketed. “Considering how highly valuable the cannabis crop is, any yield loss represents quite a substantial loss on the profit side,” James remarks. “Thus, it goes without saying that it’s crucial to grow not only uniform flowers but also to grow healthy and strong plants.” But of course, the struggle does not end there only, because a grower still wants their plants to express their full genetic potential.

Boosting plant's health
That’s where BioRadiance comes in. “We have developed the Bre3 Wand non-invasive and supercharging LED light bar that goes alongside a grower’s current grow lights,” James explains. “This light provides the plant with a special and proprietary cocktail of light energy that can’t be found in any other grow light. Thanks to that, plants have improved water and nutrient uptake, as well as increased CO2 absorption and boosted oxygen production. The results are stronger, healthier, and bigger plants with bigger roots, stronger stems, and better vascular development.”

Another feature of this cocktail of energy is the ability to kill bacteria and mold pathogens that might be on the plant. “Thanks to the proprietary super spectrum, the BRe3 Wand is capable of getting rid of mold and bacteria, thus giving growers an additional peace of mind. Bluntly put, the BRe3 Wand can and should be integrated into the IPM regimen.” In order to better support growers in their efforts, James and the BioRadiance team work closely with their customers to dial in the correct recipe to allow plants to unlock their full genetic potential. “We work closely with growers and help them dial in the best recipe,” he continues. “For instance, we help figure out the perfect height for the lights, or for how long our light should be kept on. The goal is always to optimize our system with the customer’s system and get the best output.”

As the cannabis industry gets increasingly competitive, it is crucial that growers make sure that they have an ROI that can sustain the business to grow ever-higher quality cannabis. “Cannabis growers especially have to maximize their efficiency if they want to be competitive in this exciting industry,” James points out. “And our job is exactly to help growers to get the most out of their cultivation, by capitalizing on the super spectrum that our light provides the plants with.”

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