Achieving consistent cannabis cultivation outcomes requires a level of precision that can only be achieved by using integrated hardware and software to actively monitor and analyze your grow operations.
These solutions track and report key metrics about each lifecycle, including irrigation times, photoperiod length, plant touching tasks, temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, vapor-pressure deficit, integrated pest management, and many points in between. Applying data science, machine learning, workforce management, real-time alerts, production planning, and integrating with government-mandated reporting systems is essential for a commercial grow’s success.
While there are many cultivation software options out there, no two are created equal. This blog will define cultivation software, explain the different types of cultivation software, and what makes Agrify Insights and its integrated hardware-software approach stand apart from other options.
What is cultivation software?
Cultivation software is used by cannabis growers to track individual plants from the time they are cut from their mothers (or planted as seeds) through when they’re harvested, dried, cured, lab-tested, and ready to sell. Cultivation software can be purchased and used on its own or it may be included as a component of an integrated hardware-software solution.
Types of software used by cannabis companies
Each software platform created for the cannabis industry offers its own unique features, integrations, and capabilities. Some are focused on just the careful details of cultivation, while other software covers the needs of the entire supply chain or the business at large, of which cultivation is only one part. The software types that may be in use at your cannabis business include:
As described above, cultivation software is specifically tailored to managing all aspects of the harvest. These programs are also called cannabis grow software, marijuana grow software, or plant management software. Cultivation software is dedicated to this process.
Seed to sale software
Seed to sale software is designed to track a cannabis plant from the very beginning all the way to its final point of sale. Also called track and trace software, this program type is primarily used for compliance, as plant-touching companies must vouch for the whereabouts of all cannabis plants and products that pass through their facilities. Requirements for seed to sale software, as well as what needs to be tracked and reported, vary from state to state.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is commonly found in many businesses, cannabis enterprises included. These software platforms incorporate every aspect of a business, including accounting and project management, into a single platform. ERP software simply applies this concept to cannabis businesses, incorporating all used by a cannabis company – including cultivation software — into one dashboard.
Dispensary point of sale software
Point of sale (POS) software is used to streamline a dispensary’s daily business operations. These programs track inventory, record sales and marketing data, manage discount and loyalty programs, keep tabs on purchase limits, track regulatory data, and monitor other important items needed for day to day dispensary operations. POS software does not have a cultivation software component.
Inventory management software
Inventory management software for a cannabis grow facility tracks its inventory, sales, and deliveries, while recording the data necessary for reporting and compliance. Some inventory management software incorporates other related parts of the business to help track this information, such as invoicing systems or accounting software.
Common software features
All cannabis software products have core strengths and weaknesses. Commonly supported features include:
- Grow room planning: From plotting a plant’s location to tracking its stage in the grow cycle, grow room planning tools can help your company properly manage your harvest. Grow room planning tools are available as a main cultivation software feature, and it’s included in seed to sale software programs as well.
- Individual, custom dashboards: Most cannabis software platforms offer each user their own login, with the ability to fine-tune what information each person can access and actions that can be taken.
- Compliance tracking: Every plant-touching cannabis business operates under strict rules and requirements as determined by the state in which they operate. Most software applications track these data points to ensure that correct, timely information is uploaded on a daily basis to the regulatory agency. To that end, most software can report directly to METRC and other compliance platforms utilized by states with cannabis programs.
- Data collection and analysis: The data that your software collects can be organized, reformatted, and exported as reports for key team members to review. Typically you can drill down to more granular levels of your grow room operations and other areas of the supply chain.
- Customer support: Software can only help your organization if you can get it to work for you. Robust customer service ensures that your software is installed correctly, and its features are utilized as intended to make daily operations easier.
Where software can go awry
Difficult and unintuitive software creates more problems than it solves. Some common pitfalls include:
- Integrating with your existing infrastructure: While a few cannabis software programs can integrate with hardware, this process is not automatic, nor is it always simple. This may require extensive customization, programming, and investment to get it to work.
- Installing on premise vs. cloud: Software that requires installation on each individual computer is more unwieldy to keep up to date, as on-site updates are required for each device every time a bug fix or a new feature rolls out. This also limits how employees can access the software: For example, they can’t access locally installed software while on the go.
- Automating data capture vs. manual input: Not every software is automatically populated with the latest data and information. This labor-intensive process to input required information is prone to human error and can result in costly mistakes.
The Agrify Insights advantage
Agrify Insights is tailored solely to promote the success of your grow. Our grow room automation software utilizes real time and historical data to optimize your operation for large, consistent yields, steady phytocannabinoid percentages, and homogenous terpene levels. Thousands of data points across the entire grow environment are constantly monitored and analyzed. Changes to the environment that prove to be correlated to more beneficial outcomes can be applied back into future harvests, ensuring consistent and optimal results in a way that no other software can achieve.
Our unique features include:
Agrify Insights comes pre-installed with our Vertical Farming Units
Agrify Insights automatically maintains the desired microclimate in each vertical farming unit (VFU), without any additional installation or configuration. This setup eliminates complicated software installs or the need to build a custom integration solution to connect software to hardware. You’ll know from the moment you purchase Agrify Insights that it will work seamlessly with your grow setup.
Use pre-designed grow plans or build your own
Agrify Insights comes equipped with sample grow plans that are ready to use immediately. Each grow plan defines the light intensity, irrigation schedule, temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and plant touching tasks ideal for specific cultivars. You can also design and input your own grow plans, tweaking every setting to create the optimal recipe for your needs.
Track vital data points
Review high-level summaries of your grow’s performance. Run analyses that identify the precise factors that influenced yield size, phytocannabinoid content, and terpene levels. Drill-down into thousands of data points that affected each crop’s trajectory. Take note of small inconsistencies before they become big problems, giving your staff time to course-correct and keep your grow on track. Some of the data points tracked and analyzed by Agrify Insights include:
- Humidity levels
- CO2 levels
- Vapor-pressure deficit (VPD)
- Fertigation times and duration
- Light intensity and photoperiod
- Harvest wet weight
- Harvest dry weight
- Cannabinoid percentages
- Terpene percentages
Agrify Insights offers real-time monitoring
Agrify prioritizes automation, as this eliminates human error and ensures data is accurate as reported directly from the source. With Agrify Insights, you can evaluate real-time and historical data and make adjustments to grow plans, improving harvest outcomes over time. These data can also be used to better plan your need for consumables, so your grow operation orders the right supplies on an optimized schedule.
Streamlined cloud-based platform
Agrify Insights can run on any device without an additional installation. All that’s needed is an up-to-date web browser and an internet connection to log into Agrify Insights. This allows any staff member to easily access Agrify Insights at any time. This also eliminates the need for on-site installations, which take up valuable time to deploy and could result in delays if something goes awry during the update process.
Course correct your grow with ease
Agrify Insights automatically monitors more than 20 components of your grow. A notification goes out to your staff via email, text, or phone whenever something goes awry, so it can be corrected as soon as possible by whoever is available. Notifications are governed by escalation policies. This way, you’re alerted to problems as they arise and get your grow back on track with little to no downtime.
Assign tasks based on availability
For all the automation tools built into Agrify Insights, some tasks still need a human touch. When it comes time for those “plant touching” tasks, Agrify Insights can assign those tasks to the right staff member with the appropriate training to complete those steps, further ensuring crop quality by putting those responsibilities in the right hands.
Get actionable data through Agrify Insights
Through Agrify Insights’ post-harvest analysis and data visualization tools, you can quickly identify environmental differences that correlate to varying outcomes. Use this information to design and deploy experimental grow plans and tweak microclimates within our Vertical Farming Units — which arrives at your facility already outfitted with Agrify Insights — to achieve consistent results. Be the hero of your grow — request your Agrify Insights demo to learn more and see our cultivation software in action.