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Mike Murray, Growbud:

“Close the loop on your fertigation system by knowing what’s happening in the root zone”

"Many cannabis growers use strong fertilizers and are meticulously measuring the nutrient solution strength that they put into their grow medium. But how are the nutrients then taken up by the plant? What exactly is left in the grow medium? By measuring more areas of your soil or grow medium, growers can better control how to fertilize their plants," says Mike Murray, Owner of Growbud. The company has developed sensors to monitor those conditions: a grow medium sensor as well as a CO2, temperature, and humidity sensor.

Measuring the grow medium
"There are certain challenges that cannabis growers face that are different from traditional agriculture growers. That's why we've developed these sensors to target those challenges," Mike explains. Closing the loop on one's fertigation system is one of those challenges. "Growers invest a lot on the front end, measuring and very precisely applying. But they don't always get the feedback of how that fertigation system works over time. Nutrients may be building up, or it is unclear what levels of nutrients are left in the grow medium."

Therefore, the first sensor Growbud released measures the grow medium, water content, EC, air temperature and humidity. The second sensor is focused on air conditions, measuring CO2, air temperature, and humidity.

The sensors can be connected to the Growbud mobile app or web application. "The mobile app can be used to check whether the conditions are in range. You can connect to the device using Bluetooth. So if you're standing next to a sensor, you can easily connect and see the live conditions. The web app has more advanced graphing features. You can see data from different locations and you can plot different parameters against each other over different time ranges," Mike explains.

Helping cannabis growers
The sensors have only been available for one year, but the company has been seeing great interest. "Growers using our sensors have been positive. They can dial in how they're applying their fertilizer, that's been the key component. Also, with the data, they've been able to identify microclimates in their facilities. Having more areas being measured makes it easier to identify hot spots or any other issues," Mike says.

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