Harborside Inc. a California-focused, vertically integrated cannabis enterprise, today announced that it has entered into a strategic research agreement with Utah State University to conduct a study led by world-renowned plant physiologist Dr. Bruce Bugbee on cannabis crop steering. This complex cultivation approach manipulates all environmental influences to increase crop yield, improve product quality and save resources.
By adjusting irrigation, lighting and climate throughout the grow cycle, proper crop steering gives cannabis growers more control over the performance of their harvest. Dr. Bugbee’s research will study all influencing factors to plant growth including light intensity, CO2 levels, ambient temperatures and substrate moisture levels which affect the yield, cannabinoid potency and terpene composition of cannabis plants. Harborside’s Vice President of Production, Travis Higginbotham, will work closely with Dr. Bugbee to identify relevant and practical crop steering techniques while contributing to the science of cannabis. The research will be conducted in Dr. Bugbee’s Plant Physiology Laboratory at Utah State University.
“Harborside is committed to creating a cannabis industry that can meet growing consumer demand for the product by finding ways to increase yields without compromising quality,” said Mr. Higginbotham. “We are eager to work alongside Dr. Bugbee to increase the collective scientific understanding of growing cannabis and discovering new production practices that maximize the performance of this crop.”
“From a practical perspective, this study will not only impact our scientific understanding of cannabis but also present relevant practices that can be implemented in commercial cannabis production to potentially boost sustainability and help the industry scale efficiently,” said Dr. Bruce Bugbee. “We have used the crop steering approach in collaborative research with NASA to improve the yield of food crops in highly controlled environments and are now applying our insight to cannabis.”
Dr. Bugbee is the founder and President of Apogee Instruments, Inc. and Professor of Crop Physiology at Utah State University. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and America Society of Horticultural Science and has authored more than 137 peer-reviewed studies in his field.