A tour of the world's largest aeroponic cannabis facility

"Growing aeroponically, the growth rate is astronomical"

In Illinois, a cannabis facility is located that is soon to be the largest aeroponic cannabis grow in the world. "Growing aeroponically, the growth rate is so astronomical that there's just no comparison to other grow methods," says Luke Cullum, Flower Manager at Aeriz. In their latest episode, CannaCribs got a tour of their facility.

Zack Bigg, Head of Cultivation, says that for propagation, they take around 2400 cuttings per week. "Because aeroponics is a little tricky, we take about 30% extra. That way, only the best survive and get moved into flower." The propagation room also functions as the mother room, and even the mother plants are grown aeroponically. "By the time it's been 6 weeks, we have the next set already coming to swap them out. We run a fast cycle to keep the plants young, vigorous, and healthy and to get great cuts off them."

According to Ben Pfeifer, Vegetation Manager, a major benefit of the aeroponic system is that they don't have to use all the excess media. "Moving the plants from vegetation into flower, it's as easy as lifting them up and placing them unto the flower tables. Moreover, we don't have any pests potentially harboring in the root zone, it's only water and rocks. We also see a great amount of vigor from these plants. When placed into the tables, they have almost no recovery time."

Yet growing aeroponically can also be challenging. "It's a very sensitive system. If workers are not being specific about what they're adding to our reservoirs, the littlest thing can cause catastrophic issues. Moreover, the initial setup for these systems is quite expensive."

Lucke Cullum, Flower Manager, says that their nutrient recipe is pretty across the board. "Age range will dictate the PPM levels. The starting range is all the way down to 1000 and then operating all the way at a maximum range of 1350. No matter what, at that scale, we know we're not pushing anything too hard and are not going to burn anything. After 8 or 9 weeks, it is time to harvest. Growing aeroponically, the growth rate is so astronomical that there's just no comparison to other grow methods."

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