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Bio Security Systems - Work In Progress


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Bio Security Systems

:a-soldier-saluting-smiley-emoticon:

 

Bio Security is a program that brings together pest, mold/mildew, bacteria/virus/viroid - disease into an encompassing program.  I can speak at serious length on bio security but then I would lose people with too much information.  So I will discuss simply but effectively explaining.

Bio Security is typically an issue for midsized grow operations to the home grower often due to two several reasons.  One is cost.  Typically a grow operation is ineffectively funded and further still this is often due to an ineffective appreciation of bio security by the planners and managers/supervisors.

  • I will try to assist with instilling an understanding of effective appreciation and how to effectively implement those bio security into your grow operations and/or how to adapt into your current plans.

Bio security essentially brings the management of pest, mold/mildew, bactera/virus/viroid into your grow operations.  For simple grow operations this is easier than it is for a more complex grow operation such as a rotating/perpetual operation. 

  • Regardless of size, once you understand the fundamentals bio security you then have the effective knowledge to manage your grow operation by creating a unique bio security plan for your specific grow operation.

We will discuss prevention, treatment and how to implement into your grow environment for the following:

  • pest management,
  • Mold and Mildew,
  • Disease from bacteria, virus and viroids.

Virtually all growers are some point will run into pest and mold/mildew issues.  Plant disease from bacteria and virus will be more on the rare side but with a viroid going around via clones raises the possibility that growers who would typically not see this type of issue may. 

For most growers, they do not get to plan out their location and have to make due with the grow area which is available to them.  Typically these grow areas are not ideal but manageable for their purposes.  Here are some key aspects that is a necessity in an effective bio security plan regardless of size or location of the grow operation.

  • Stable environment with healthy lighting and air flow.
  • Control of temperature and humidity in both in raising and lowering levels within short periods of times.
  • Ability to control and filter incoming air and outgoing air.

 

Grow area example,

  • Processing/storage areas
  • Mother area (optional)
  • Clone area (optional)
  • Vegative area
  • Flowering area
  • Harvest/dry/cure area

 

Very good 4 light room setup with explanations

While a grow room setup is not necessarily part of a bio security program it is the skeletal system for which the environment is effected.  For newer growers this section will have more value but I recommend to all viewers due to his explanations.  

 

SETTING UP A CANNABIS GROW ROOM. WHAT I'VE LEARNED 6 YEARS DOING IT. EQUIPMENT, ELECTRICAL,GEAR.

AAUvwniwSqk1ViPYnKXjSWlfaE6jvd725M70kY48  Grateful Grower

 

Processing and storage area

Processing area - Typically home and small growers will not easily have much processing space and it is understood that you have to do with what you have to work with.  Do the best that you can. 

I tend to recommend basement grow areas for indoor growers as it typically offers a stable base environment.  If your lucky enough to use an old apartment or if their is a bathroom with a shower in the basement and/or a laundry area with a sink is useable.

  1. Water, Sink/Shower:
    • Hot and cold water
      • Sometimes cold water is good for knocking off pest on plants.
        • This is also in part why you want good water pressure.
      • Hot water is mostly for cleaning.
    • Good to powerful water spray options from direct to spray.
    • Capability to isolate and spray down a whole plant if in containers.
      • Such as a shower or deep industrial sink.
      • A shower and industrial sink is ideal.
        • A shower is perfect for effectively isolating a plant and treating the plant in an area to control potential contamination.
    • Water Storage
    • A sink disposable, heavy duty industrial strength.
      • This is not so much due to bio security as it is beneficial in helping maintain clean drain lines which is an important issue.  While mainly a maintenance issue I will add just for good measure.
    • Drain Cleaner/Mechanical and chemical/root products.
      • You want to be able to be have a drain cleaning machine that can reach to the end of the pipes for which you are responsible for.
      • Chemical and root management products should be used as needed and in the case of the root management products ensure a regular maintenance dose is consistently given per directions. 
  2. Processing area.
    • Solid tables that can withstand significant weight.
      • Sturdy metal or plastic shelving broken down in table sections with a base and top is often sufficient. 
    • Use tubs or even cement mixers to mix your media/amendments/fertilizers evenly.
      • It is vital to ensure that you evenly mix any inputs with the media.  So ensure that you have enough room to effectively mix your media and do any processing work in that area.
    • Ensure all tables and surfaces are cleaned daily, before and after use.
    • Ensure all equipment, especially cutting equipment is cleaned prior to use, during and after use.  Then stored correctly.
    • Consider if viable to the use processing area as a giant lung room.
      • This enables you to ensure a stable air out take that tempers the air and potentially better smell protection if applicable.
        • You have outtake air, smell filtered if applicable, from grow areas sent to the processing room.
        • The air in the processing room is then tempered with intake air from outside air and this air is then sent outside and back into the grow area.
          • It is important to have effective air exchange for the areas that you are managing. 
            • For smell protection purposes,
            • To create a stable intake of air for your grow areas.
            • Ideally you would have a lung room for intake air and one for outtake air.  In Frozen environments having a lung room for out take air as to temper the air before exhaust can be a necessity as to prevent ice formation at the exhaust areas.
              • This can be a tell tell sign of a grow room, generally seen in houses when growing in tents and venting out a window and making ice formations.
    • Fertilizer Processing/Storage area
      • We often do not think of a fertilizing processing area and for home growers this might not be such a thing but understanding the wisdom of it will help you keep streamlined so to speak.
      • The idea of a fertilizer processing/storage area is in part safety, sanitation, ease of use, consistency.
        • Safety, store all fertilizer material off the ground, preferably some kind of racks/shelves.  
          • Keep in dry area and at room temperature unless the product requires different storage or handling.
          • Rotate first in, first out.  (use new stuff after old stuff is used up.)
        • Sanitation, this one is very important as by not keeping the area clean issues such as cross contamination and pests.
          • Clean all measuring cups/spoons/devices.
          • Clean all areas that you work on.
          • Ensure all equipment is cleaned, calibrated and ready for use after/before each use or as applicable.
            • Ph, PPM/EC, brix meters etc. 
  3. Waste Disposal - Waste disposal is one of the biggest issues in growing that we have.  For home growers this can give the grow operation away and depending on situation this can potentially have disagreeable repercussions from a range of directions.  This is part of what I call a footprint that is important to shrink down from security to cost issues.
    • Due to this I advocate that most waste be used within the grow operation.  This can consist of virtually all plant material.
      • By combining composting/worm farming, natural farming inputs and biochar you can drastically diminish your plant material waste and footprint while creating inhouse systems that truly is a cycle.
      • Except for diseased and pest affected plant material.
        • This will need to be disposed off site and in a way to prevent contamination of disease or pest.
        • Your area may have regulations and rules to follow.
        • This system may not be as viable with crops subjected to pesticides and other similar controls. 
    • The following aspects can help you reuse plant material.  You can find a balance to where this material is used in a cycle and depending on grow methods even play a big part in your plant management care.
      • compost.
        • Traditional or by using indoor composters.
        • Can do only plant material or with other compostable scraps.
          • I preferred to make a balanced compost but you can favor nitrogen to even phosphorus based depending on what you add to be composted and its percentages.
      • Worm Castings/farms.  One of my greatest moves was to make my own worm castings.
        • plant material along with a balance of vegetable scraps.
        • You can grind material for faster use or leave whole.
          • I liked to grind most of the material but also would leave some scraps whole too.  When you grind everything up it becomes a bit more difficult to maintain dry/damp conditions so be prepared to add more paper/cardboard/carbon.
          • I also would add some biochar from fine to small particles to the castings.
      • Natural Farming Inputs.  (This was one of my dearest secrets many years ago.)  I came to natural farming as a way to reduce my growing footprint during prohibitionist times.  It turned out to not only do that but enabled me to fine tune the management of the plants especially during transitional stages of development.  
        • Natural farming inputs, click me.
          • Fermented plant juice.
            • You make this from healthy cannabis leaves from the time period you are wanting to support. 
              • Be it as a generalist all at once or once specific for specific grow periods I value this product highly.
            • I recommend making strain specific and not mixing strains that are overly different such as strong sativa and indica as we want similar chemical make up in the leaves so that they work together better and more effectively.
              • Veg - use FPJ from the vegetative period along with other applicable NF inputs.
              • Transitional periods - use FPJ from transitional periods along with other applicable NF inputs.
          • Bio Char - Bio char is mainly used to help with stems, root balls and hard bits.
            • By making bio char from hard stems and root balls we essentially are making these bits into a type of charcoal that benefits the soil greatly by helping it maintain stability which helps you with maintaining healthy consistent soils.
              • Used only in soil based medias.
              • Hydroponics grow operations could make this into biochar and sell as a product.
  4. Mother Area - Good old moms, Just like in life, we tend to take moms for granted.  In terms of bio security I see some SOP, standard operating procedures, talk about all the obvious aspects of sanitation and how to properly ensure operating procedures do not pass a contaminate on with lots of talk on cleaning and sanitizing.  However, I do not see any talk on mother health.  So I will.
    • Mother health, I see in almost every video of someone be it a person or a company grow that the mothers are stressed.  The number of leaves on a leaf is an indication.
      • With stressed mothers, this stress makes your mothers vulnerable. 
        • Now with with pest and competent cleaning pest issues are not as likely as other issues such as mold/mildew.
          • In such situations, adjust your day and night time temperatures/humidity to a bit shorter favoring dryer side of acceptance to you.
          • This reduces the opportunity time for a spore to effectively drill in the plant in which the plant becomes infected.
          • This is not a big issue for commercial growers but home growers can run into this when their environment is not ideal. 
      • However, stressed mothers from cloning also comes with other problems.
        • The uptake from the mother is often negatively affected after cloning.  As a result the plant is unable to make the optimum levels of internal plant chemicals and processes as effectively and efficiently as it is unable to make enough energy to support those needs of maintaining current growth, healing and making new growth.
          • This issue is compounded over time potentially causing such problems as a reduction in terpines, rooting quality and speed, reduction in strength of new plant structure, longer transition times and finishing times.
    • Recommendations.  Either utilizing optimum mother SOP's (standard operating practice) or utilizing tissue culture to obtain your clones depending on your size of operation. 
      • Tissue Culture - I would typically recommend done inhouse.  (the expense of setup can initially be expensive in terms of setup and implementation hiccups but over time I believe this is best practice.)
      • Traditional Cloning - Create extra mothers and manage in a way to optimize health of mother and clones.
        • Remove a smaller amount of clones per mother as to the point where the mother plant does not show stress after cloning.
        • I like to allow some stems to grow a bit longer than traditionally flat canopy.
          • By leaving some stems grow longer, we are able to concentrate a hormone that is better for growing roots once the clone is taken.
            • This is why it is recommended to take clones from lower in the plant.
        • Feed mothers a flowering feed one to 3 days before taking clones.
          • Not the same time you foliar feed.
          • This is to help get phosphorous levels into the leaves to better help in rooting quality and speed.
        • Foliar spray the 3rd and 1 day before taking clones.
          • Utilizing FPJ (fermented plant juice) designed for transition period - Foliar spray a natural farming FPJ, fermented plant juice that is designed for transition periods just before taking the clones has helped in the health of the clones.  
          • Any foliar spray that designed for transition period is usable and likely just as effective.
        • After taking clones and every other feed.
          • Utilizing FPJ (fermented plant juice) designed for strong vegetative period -
          • Any foliar spray that designed for transition period is usable and likely just as effective.
          • Foliar spray designed for transition periods tends to have more phosphorus which is beneficial to rooting and helping to control high nitrogen levels in the mothers which is unwanted.
        • Feed mothers a balanced diet after cloning.
          • This is help restore balance and keep nitrogen levels in check as high nitrogen levels in the leaves is detrimental to rooting of the clones.
        • Keep detailed records and photos.
          • This is to help to identify what works optimum for your environment and operations.
          • Start with taking a percentage of clones per mother.
            • Document, writing and in photographs and video.
            • After, the next day, following day and up until you would take clones again.  Every 3 days is acceptable.
            • Review, analyze and adjust accordingly until you find your optimal levels in mother health, clone production and stress adjustment returning to healthy cycle that along with traditional SOP, standards of protocol, that address sanitation and pest management this will enable you to enjoy a true cycle of life!
              • Ideally adjust:
                • Environment,
                • Percentage of clones taken,
                • Test leaves to determine how much phosphorous and nitrogen is in the leaves before and after treatment and then determine increasing or decreasing foliar spray PPM/EC, to achieve desired percentages.
                  • Adjusting media feed may be necessary as well.
      • By implementing realistic optimized management of your mothers you are the setting the stage for success.  In many of my consulting surveys I have identified issues with the mothers in terms of their management.  I have seen professional operations failing and in part it is due to not having an effective appreciation of middle to long term care not just on the mothers but the entire operation.
        • It is easy to write a SOP for this that is detailed in cleaning and sanitizing and ensuring that continuation potential is removed to dramatically reduced to unlikely.  However, to me this is only one part of the issue and I say that combining both of these directions the benefits will be impressive to the point that it will enable to truly begin to have an optimized grow operation with little to no risk of pest, disease when the sop's as a whole are followed and respected. 
  5. Seedlings

 

 

  1. Cloness
  2. Transition
  3. Veg (early)
  4. Veg (Mid)
  5. Veg (late)
  6. Transition
  7. Flower (early)
  8. Flower (mid)
  9. Flower (late)
  10. Harvest
  11. Harvest area
  12. Sanitation of areas
  13. Cycle renews.
  14. Document: Records, analysis and adjustments
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