The establishment of greenhouse for growing medical cannabis is a complex project, involving massive investment and high costs. But, every grower knows that this is only the first step on a long journey – the growing process is also complex and requires a high level of professionalism and in-depth knowledge. The first goal of any new farmer is to improve his produce at the maximum required quality. When growing cannabis, there is an additional requirement for ongoing and intensive operations, relying on extended manpower, which is generally more professional and expensive.
Whether you are at the establishment stage, or your farm is already up-and-running, you should get to know the PickApp system, intended to make work in the greenhouse more efficient and save expenses in the production process. In addition, this system enables the use of advanced technology in the collection of agronomical information from the fields, which, in fact, documents and monitors all activity in the greenhouse, according to the required regulatory rules.
The PickApp system is a management tool that enables the grower to measure, monitor and document all farm activities, mainly those done by human labor, so it is intended, in general, for crops that require intensive human involvement; cannabis is one of them. The installation of the system is simple, and the price is attractive.
The unique tool developed by PickApp Farming Ltd. is intended for data collection in the greenhouse, in a reliable and relatively simple method, based on scanning barcodes around the farm, that represent different entities, such as: plot, section of a plot, a row of plants, and even individual plants. This way the data collection process prevents unintended mistakes and eases the procedure for the user.
An additional advantage of the system for cannabis growers is that it allows each grower to adapt and define the list of required agronomical activities according to the growing process. The on-site use of the App is simple and easy, and in fact, most of the data is collected by workers as an integral part of their work.
The farm manager and foreman can receive the data in real time, and control and supervise situations as they happen. In addition, the system enables monitoring and measurement of work output by a group of workers, or an individual worker.
For example, each row of plants is marked with a barcode expressing its location in the plot. When finishing work on each row, the barcode is scanned and the worker’s progress is registered.
To be emphasized that, unlike other software, the data is scanned into the barcode system by the workers themselves or the foremen, using a simple and reliable method, not requiring any typing. The system is installed with a dedicated App on one’s smartphone (Android), that can be a personal device or used by several workers simultaneously. At the same time, as long as there is connectivity, the data is sent, on a real time basis, to a cloud. Even if there is no connectivity, work can continue offline, until connectivity is renewed.
As stated above, the PickApp system excels in two main areas: one, providing current data to the farmer on a real time basis, enabling him to make decisions on continuing work – in the field or remotely, and two, collecting data over time enables the foreman to produce reports on workers’ productivity, quality of the produce, etc.
In the case that the providers cannot come to install the software at the client’s location, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be instructed remotely with special instruction video tutorials, which automatically register the App and independently operate the system.
Advantages of the system to cannabis farms
- Savings in human resources – the collected data gives farmers the ability to measure workers’ productivity for each row and each plant, plan out working time, and improve efficiency.
- In addition, the use of the PickApp system produces a series of operations that can prevent problems with produce quality.
- Quality control – the quality of the produce, and not necessarily the quantity, is extremely significant in cannabis farming. Using this App the farmer can identify quality problems in the field, such as a row of plants that was not treated properly and, scanning the barcode, he can know exactly who worked on that site. When each action in the field has an “address,” the field manager can instruct the worker on methods of handling the plants properly and immediately guide him how to correct problems and give him personal advice. This way, the system enables the field manager to increase the effect of learning among his workers.
- Collecting and analyzing agronomic data – the PickApp system enables the farmer to input the agronomic data collected in the field directly to the App, without any tedious manual writing. Agronomic indices, such as EC, Ph, nitrates, and drain water, can be collected from various points around the farm and used to monitor pests. Settings are set to personal definitions regarding different operations required, making use easy and preventing operational errors.
Documentation for regulation purposes – the regulations for growing cannabis are very strict and require the documentation of endless operations throughout the growing process. Data is collected from the field with the PickApp system and saved in a cloud, organized in a manner enabling full follow up of the situation. With only a few clicks, one can see the operations performed and understand the full growth chain.
The PickApp system meets the documentation and follow up requirements of various cannabis growing regulations (Global Gap, ISO).
PickApp deals in the promotion and development of farm management platforms for agricultural farms around the world and in recent years has developed earmarked solutions for indoor growth of cannabis. The system supports many languages: English, Spanish, Hebrew, and Arabic, and is used on several cannabis farms, where it has proven significant efficiency.
Based on feedback received from farms already using the PickApp system, it is clear that this is a vital component in every agricultural farm using intensive manpower and knowledge, and dealing with high production costs, heavy competition and growing uncertainty.
For more info: http://www.pickapp.farm/en/