Shane Yoakam, Lowell Farms:

US (CA): “Sourcing pure inputs and strong IPM are essential to growing clean cannabis”

“We pride ourselves on being good stewards of the environment by taking different approaches in our cultivation process,” says Shane Yoakam, Head Grower at Lowell Farms Inc. The Californian cannabis company has over 125,000 square feet of flowering greenhouse production with 44,000 square feet of nursery space. As a result of their efforts to achieve high-quality craft cannabis, the company has become the state’s largest seller of packaged flower. “The clean cultivation practices and care we put into flower production really show in our product.”

Stewards of the environment
Lowell Farms is a vertically integrated company with cultivation, post-production, manufacturing, extraction, and distribution located in Monterey County, California. As Head Grower, Yoakam oversees their flagship cultivation greenhouse facility at their Salinas headquarters. The farm has more than 125,000 square feet of flowering greenhouse production with 44,000 square feet of nursery space. “My primary focus is genetics, plant health, production planning, managing our staff, and everything else that comes with running a farm.”

Yoakam explains that the company prides itself on being good stewards of the environment by taking different approaches in their cultivation process. “For example, we use a unique substrate that requires less water, less food, and minimal runoff. Our irrigation system uses sensors that allow us to optimally irrigate our plants as they require. This, combined with tissue analysis and other testing, allows us to accurately care for our plants.”

The unique layout of their flowering greenhouses also contributes to their high quality. “Our flowering space is comprised of 29, nearly 5,000-square-foot rooms, rather than larger open greenhouse spaces. The smaller flowering spaces, along with our positive pressure greenhouses and the environmental system, gives us the ability to produce mixed light boutique cannabis. Moreover, one of the things we take pride in is our canopy management with our even crop groups. The nursery at the farm is a sight to see, with laser line even canopies of different crop groups full of healthy, lush plants.”

Clean cannabis
When it comes to growing clean cannabis, Yoakam explains that sourcing pure and clean inputs is essential to growing clean cannabis, along with a strong IPM (Integrated Pest Management) program. “As a grower, I strive to continue to define IPM, implementing different approaches such as using banker plants and companion plants to help sustain our beneficial insect population – of more than six different species – at our farm. We minimally spray our plants in veg and do not spray our plants in flower, where we rely on our beneficials to do the magic of preserving our beautiful flowers. In addition to this, we plant trap plants around the perimeter of our facility to act as a line of defense.”

This clean cultivation is certainly paying off when it comes to the end result. “Our premium mixed light flower grown at the farm certainly speaks for itself as it is indoor quality. The clean cultivation practices and care we put into flower production really show in our product.” Lowell Farms also focuses on growing unique varieties that allow them to stand out rather than producing the same mainstream strains most others grow. “The past year of diversifying our menu is starting to really show as these new flavors are now starting to hit dispensaries and are already gaining traction with consumers.”

When asked about the Californian market, Yoakam mentions that it is a challenging one. “However, this is where being efficient and focusing on optimizing production really come into play. Our process keeps costs lower in order to maintain growth and profitability.” When it comes to the future of the company, Lowell Farms want to continue focusing on their R&D and developing new varieties to distinguish themselves from others. “As a known legacy cannabis breeder with more than 20 years of cannabis breeding experience at the farm, we are constantly doing R&D with this goal in mind. This gives us an evolving menu with new strains for our customers.” 

For more information:
Lowell Farms
www.lowellfarms.com 


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