Top three trends to note in HortiCann program (UPDATED)

July 24, 2020
The HortiCann Light + Tech virtual event is only 88 days away! On the blog we’re tipping you off to some hot topics that will be featured.

As the calendar begins to tick ever closer to fall (in the Northern hemisphere, anyway!), we are looking ahead to the 2020 edition of the HortiCann Light + Tech conference, which is being held this year as a virtual event. No travel to plan this time, just time maximized to get you immersed in these hot topics.

Cannabis cultivation is still engaging the market.

Let’s address the hot button for some folks right up front. As we always say, LEDs Magazine is not taking a stance on the recreational use of cannabis; it’s a legitimate horticultural business now in many regions. Since we explored Strategies Unlimited’s 2019 report on the cannabis lighting market outlook for North America, obviously we have heard about trials facing the cannabis market as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Among them are issues that have hit all industries and sectors, such as reduced workforce availability, decreased demand for product, and the pressing need to reduce business expenses. However, the return on investment (ROI) in LED lighting and associated AgTech systems for the cannabis market could put some needed cash back into the business as growers develop smarter processes and reduce the massive energy consumption that has long been a concern. Keynoter Bruce Bugbee of Utah State University and Matt McGregor of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District are just some of the speakers who will refine the audience’s understanding of cannabis cultivar needs and crop yields, as well as approaches to building a more sustainable operation in the cannabis cultivation market.

Control freaks are welcome in terms of agricultural operations, that is.

Much as solid-state lighting (SSL) is touted for its optimal use in general illumination through combination with sensors, electronics, and hardware and software controls in a networked scheme, the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) operation will reach its true potential with smart systems. The system architectures might face different challenges to robustness in such a demanding environment, but they can interact in such a way as to minimize crop threats and damage, eliminate the need for pesticides, monitor the plant response to environmental changes and react accordingly, and more. Panelists will discuss the interplay of HVAC, lighting, architecture, energy usage, and cultivation materials to broaden understanding of all the performance variables.

Technology will influence ideal cultivar properties.

The concept of plant perfection will certainly differ for each crop and even those with varying intended purposes. Desirable characteristics might include a certain taste or color exhibited by enhanced nutrient profiles, increased levels of specific cannabinoids, or the height of plants used in other production purposes, such as hemp fibers. Again, the keynote by Bruce Bugbee will explore some of these desirable traits, but other sessions on characterizing light for plant response and spectral control technologies to implement SSL products designed to elicit various plant outcomes will drive home the point that, when properly developed and utilized, technology is ultimately the solution to many of indoor agriculture’s biggest problems.

We’re continuing to update the program for HortiCann Light + Tech and reveal more speakers and topics. Register to attend the free virtual event, which will be held over Oct. 2021, 2020.

*Updated Sept. 2, 2020 for presentation topic clarification.

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