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Lady Bugs on Cannabis
Farmer's best friend! Lady Bugs on Cannabis flowers and leaves.

The U.S. English thesaurus defines forecast as: to predict, to estimate, to calculate, to project, to anticipate, to foretell, to guess, to conjure. Why I bring this up is because all the best ones do it whether you’re watching Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Andretti, or Mohammed Ali. The greats from our past were all great at forecasting in their respective disciplines. They could anticipate what was coming ahead, adjust as needed and keep moving forward to greatness.

Forecasting also applies to growing so you can be prepared to have on hand what will be needed for the upcoming season.

What if?

Then there’s all the What-if’s? What if there’s a fire again this summer? What if a bunch of wild boars decide to eat my plants? What can I do to protect them? What if one of my plants decides to become a home for a beehive? Rippers?  What if I hire a dumbass to tend to my plants? And that’s just a small sample of What-ifs? Don’t laugh — I’ve seen all of these happen.

Any of the great people mentioned earlier had a coach or somebody to bounce ideas off of,  to guide them in a certain direction. These people have the ability to forecast and by doing this they set themselves up for success, and that’s what we’re looking to do. If you do have questions, find someone with experience from your region to give you advice.

How Forecasting Is Done in One Colorado Clinic

Earlier last summer, I had a chance to hang out with Aaron from Buds and Roses in LA while I was down there on business. A couple of gentlemen from The Clinic in Colorado were there visiting. We had a chance to have dinner with them and chat about a few things they’re doing in their shop Colorado shop.

This was a real eye-opener for me — their so-called forecasting could tell you from a six-inch cutting how much flower was going to be produced from it, how much resin could be extracted, and how much edible oil could be extracted. They had accounted for every single grain of resin from that plant. They had spreadsheets keeping track of all this data. That is what I would call a well-thought-out operation.

Farmers Need Forecasting, Too

(Though Not As Technical)

Now we don’t need to get as nitty-gritty is the folks at The Clinic, but we do want to have a good overall plan for our upcoming grow season. As we devise that plan, we need to focus on what we can to do to make sure we have everything in place so we can maximize our inputs so our plants are running at optimally from the time they hit the soil as seedlings to harvest time at the end of the summer (or mid-summer if you’re a tarp puller).

Here are a few tips and pointed questions to help get you started:

  1. It’s this time of year when you have an open field in front of you — now is the time to layout and design your overall grow patch, make sure you take into account your surroundings and environment that you’re working with.
  2. As the season begins, make sure your containers have the proper soil mix. You should also be careful not to burn your plants or run into deficiencies mid-summer.
  3. You have the proper staking for support as the plants get bigger.
  4. There are a plethora of questions for you can ask, so I would suggest picking up a dry board or a notebook to come up with a to-do list to make sure you’re accomplishing what you need to do daily to make sure you have happy plants.
  5. When harvest is around the corner, will you have the proper tools you’ll need? Do you have scissors and trimmers in place? Do you have a place to dry your material? Do you have the proper storage needed for curing?

Need more help with making a plan? Check out Data Mining on the Farm.

Now some of these are questions for way, way down the road. There are so many questions to ask yourself and those with experience between curing and seedlings. Come up with a plan and make sure to leave some room for surprises — they always show up when you don’t want them. As they say in the movies, expect the unexpected.

Until next time…TC

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