US (IL): A look inside the largest aeroponics cannabis facility in the US

“While most growers opt for soil, stone wool, or coco, we are known for the quality of our aeroponically grown cannabis,” says Steve Bundy, General Manager of Aeriz. The company has the largest aeroponics cannabis facility in the country, growing both medical and adult-use cannabis in Illinois. They also have facilities in California and Arizona. Zack Bigg, Head Grower, explains: “For the HVAC and automation, we use the Surna systems to optimize our production. We are noticing that our plants are much happier with the consistency of environmental conditions they are now getting.”

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Zack explains that they use the Surna system to change the set points for the HVAC controls based on the stage of growth that the plants are in. “We also automate our irrigation cycles. With aeroponics, we are on a strict irrigation schedule as far as how much to water and how frequently. The best part about the Surna technology is that we can schedule new and different things. Recently, we wanted to have our lights do a slow increase and a slow decrease, and they were able to program that in for us.”

The company’s propagation room has their mothers and clones. “We use clones to keep the products consistent. With seeds, you get different phenotype expressions, whereas we want the exact same product on the shelves every time.” The company has four veg rooms that are double stacked. “It’s a challenge to work on the second level, but the added space is definitely worth it. During vegetation, we use an 18 on and 6 hours off lighting schedule, keeping the temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 60% humidity.”

Zack explains that it is important to keep the root zone temperature under control as they use aeroponics. “We need to keep pathogens under control, so we like to keep it a little cooler in the flower room, at 72 degrees and 60% humidity, which tapers off as we get further along. Since using Surna, we’ve seen a much more stable temperature and humidity, and our plants are much happier with this environmental consistency.”

The Reverse Osmosis machines enable the company to purify their water, as they want it to be as pure as possible. “When we add nutrients, we don’t want our recipes and ratios to be thrown off by whatever is in the tap water,” Zack explains. “We also run a recirculating system so that the water that feeds our plants drains back into the reservoir, and our nutrients are getting recirculated.”

For more information:

Surna Cultivation Technologies     

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