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+16% Boost in Cannabis

Cannabis Greenhouse

AT A GLANCE

After ten weeks of cultivation, dry, trimmed harvest weights were reported. Dry yield measurements showed an additional 7.5 lbs of product harvested from plants under UbiGro, equivalent to a +16.0% increase in total dry yield.
248 Hybrid Cannabis Plants with two different strains: Wedding Cake and Ice Cream Cake. Both are broad leaf Indica-dominant hybrids
Little Hill Cultivators Over the 4-yr life of the installed UbiGro product, the farm would benefit from $97,500 in additional profit from this 20ft x 108ft greenhouse alone.
Trinity Co., CA, USA.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

UbiGro was installed at Little Hill Cultivators farm in Trinity County, California. For the plant trial, UbiGro covered half of a 20ft x 108ft greenhouse while the other half was unchanged and served as the control. The product was mounted above the lateral purlins and under the polyethylene cover. A total of 248 plants were grown in the greenhouse and two strains were split between the test and control sides: 194 plants (78%) were a Wedding Cake strain (Cherry Pie x Girl Scout Cookies) and the remaining 54 (22%) plants were an Ice Cream Cake strain (Gelato x Wedding Cake). Both are broad leaf Indica-dominant hybrids, with the Wedding Cake growing taller and larger internodal spacing, with a 1-2 week longer finishing time.

“To me, the product has proven itself.”

– Owner, Little Hill Cultivators

All conditions were kept identical for both sides of the experiment: plant size uniformity, planting density, strain layout, watering and nutrient regimen, humidity and temperature, harvesting and pruning regimen, integrated pest management regimen, etc. The cultivation team at Little Hill Cultivators made qualitative observations of the crop during the growth cycle. They noted that the plants under the UbiGro product showed an obvious enhanced vegetative growth, exemplified by an increase in height, width and overall foliage, filling more aisle space than their control counterparts. The grower also observed larger, fuller buds on the UbiGro side. 

After ten weeks of cultivation, dry, trimmed harvest weights were reported. Dry yield measurements showed an additional 7.5 lbs of product harvested from plants under UbiGro, equivalent to a +16.0% increase in total dry yield. No differences in trichome color, finishing time, bud color, bud odor/flavor, or overall quality were observed.

After ten weeks of cultivation, dry, trimmed harvest weights were reported. Dry yield measurements showed an additional 7.5 lbs of product harvested from plants under UbiGro, equivalent to a +16.0% increase in total dry yield. 

No differences in trichome color, finishing time, bud color, bud odor/flavor, or overall quality were observed. 

Samples of both strains were taken from both sides of the plant trial and were sent to CW Analytical Laboratories (Oakland, CA) for cannabinoid and terpene testing. Total terpene content for the Wedding Cake strain grown under the UbiGro product was improved compared to those grown under the control (+12.9%, relative). Total cannabinoid content was moderately increased for Wedding Cake flowers grown under UbiGro (+3.6%, relative). Total terpene content for the Ice Cream Cake strain grown under UbiGro were slightly reduced compared to those grown under the control (-9.1%, relative). 

Total cannabinoid content was moderately increased for Ice Cream Cake flowers grown under the UbiGro film (+1.9%, relative). Testing accuracy for terpenes and cannabinoids typically has error bars ±10% (relative). Therefore, we conclude that UbiGro had a negligible effect on terpene and cannabinoid content of both strains, except for the +12.9% relative terpene boost in Wedding Cake, which may be a significant result just above the variance threshold. Further trials on the strain would be needed to verify this behavior.

Potency Summary: Wedding Cake

Terpenes

UbiGro: 3.5%

Control: 3.1%

Rel. Change: +12.9%

Total Cannabinoids

UbiGro: 23.08%

Control: 22.27%

Rel. Change: +3.6%

Potency Summary: Ice Cream Cake

Terpenes

UbiGro: 2.0%

Control: 2.2%

Rel. Change: -9.1%

Total Cannabinoids

UbiGro: 19.77%

Control: 19.40%

Rel. Change: +1.9%

ECONOMICS

Full Season Round (August – November)

A yield enhancement improves the economics of a farm, but what is that yield enhancement worth to the farmer? Taking this experiment as a case study, we can calculate the value that the yield-boosting UbiGro film brings to the economics of the farm.  

For this trial, the half of the greenhouse with UbiGro boosted yield by 7.5 lbs (+$8.68/ft2 in wholesale revenue) compared to the control. The farm sells trimmed cannabis for $1250/lb wholesale. If UbiGro had been deployed over the entire greenhouse and achieved the same yield boost, the farm would have obtained an additional $18,750 in wholesale revenue for that greenhouse. Since the greenhouse can produce two crops per year, the yield boost could potentially be realized twice per year, which could result in an increase in revenue from UbiGro of $37,500 per year, per greenhouse. 

CONCLUSION

To quantify the value of the increase in revenue, we must calculate the increased profit. There are variable costs associated with producing and selling this additional product, including harvesting, drying/curing, trimming, packaging, and transportation. However, fixed costs are not increased with additional yield. Fixed costs include real estate (rent/mortgage), heating/cooling, electricity, marketing, labor tied to square footage such as cleaning, seeding, vegetative labor, etc. Given that the gross margin on the baseline production of cannabis at Little Hill Cultivators is 50% (50% COGS), then we estimate a 65% gross margin on the extra production (35% COGS) realized as a result of the UbiGro spectrum. 

In this example, that translates to $24,375 additional profit per year from this greenhouse.

Over the 4-yr life of the installed UbiGro product, the farm would benefit from $97,500 in additional profit from this greenhouse alone. If the farm adopted the UbiGro technology across all six greenhouses on site, and this yield improvement was consistently realized, it could potentially profit an additional $146,250 per year, or an additional $585,000 over the 4-yr lifetime of the films. 

Greenhouse Details

Greenhouse Size: 20ft x 108ft

Increased Revenue/Year/Greenhouse: +$37,500

Increased Profit/Year/Greenhouse: +$24,375

Increased Profit over Film Life/Greenhouse: +$97,500

Increased Profit over Film Life/Farm: +$585,000

Profit value of film: $5.64/ft2 per harvest

Payback time: 0.5 harvests

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Hunter McDaniel CEO & Founder UbiGro

Hunter McDaniel, PhD

Founder & CEO

 Hunter earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, before joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Chemistry Division. Ultimately the value proposition of UbiGro is about boosting crop yields and quality without the cost or energy impact of lighting. Hunter has more than fifty publications and patents, and more than 2000 total citations, h-index: 20. Hunter fundamentally believes that novel materials underpin every significant technology advancement, and he is focused on leveraging new materials to have a lasting and sustainable impact.

Damon Hebert, PhD

Director of Agriculture

Damon brings a wide range of experience in agriculture, materials science, spectroscopy, and small business. During his time in Prof. Angus Rockett’s research group at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Hebert authored a doctoral thesis and multiple papers on the materials science of CIGS semiconductor materials, which is closely related to the materials developed at UbiQD. He also served as a consultant to Nanosolar, a CIGS nanocrystal solar cell manufacturing company. Hebert has industry experience having co-founded Dr. Jolly’s, a leading cultivation and distribution operation in Bend, OR.

Tania Lafaille

Sales Representative

Tania is a UbiGro Sales Representative, with over 7 years of experience in product sales (specifically berries and avocados) covering all of North America and parts of South America. While in agriculture, Tania has cultivated strong relationships with growers and distributors, granting her a unique insight into both perspectives. That understanding, paired with her fierce dedication to results, drives her fun and fiery commitment to her craft. Tania is based in Gilroy, CA.

Charles Parrish

Agricultural  Engineer

Charles earned a Bachelor’s in Biological Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master’s in Biosystems Engineering from The University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. Advised by Dr. Gene Giacomelli, Charles conducted his thesis on the “Optimization of Spectral Quality with Quantum Dots to Enhance Crop Yield in Controlled Environments.” Charles has a decade of biological engineering, greenhouse technology, and molecular biology experience from lab to production scale including working with the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He brings his experience in hydroponics, controlled environment systems design, photobiology, greenhouse engineering, and scientific outreach.

Jim Gideon

Sales Manager

Jim Gideon is an UbiGro Sales Manager, with over 25 years of greenhouse industry sales experience covering all of North America. Previously Jim has worked for Green Tek, Plazit-Polygal, Texel, Cherry Creek, and Nexus. He is based in Montgomery, AL, and Jim believes that “light is everything to the grower.”

Eric Moody

Director of Sales

Eric Moody is UbiQD’s Director of UbiGro Sales. Eric has more than 6 years of experience in horticulture lighting industry, building relationships with greenhouse growers of all sizes and crops on optimal lighting for their growing operation, and most recently managed a North American sales team for PL Light Systems. Overall, Eric has been in sales leadership positions for more than 13 years. Eric brings with him a great understanding of the market and available technologies for growers, greenhouse facilities, and sales leadership.

Mike Burrows, PhD

VP of Business Development

Dr. Michael Burrows is UbiQd’s Vice President of Business Development. His educational background includes a Materials Science doctorate from the University of Delaware and an MBA from Duke University Fuqua School of Business. His career has specialized in the commercialization of novel electronic materials in venture-run programs for different industries including solar, biosensors, and the automotive industry. In both start-up and corporate environments, he has extensive experience in global market development, foraging supply chain partnerships, productization, and brand building. He is currently leading UbiQD’s partnership efforts in luminescent greenhouse technology, smart windows, and security ventures.

Matt Bergern, PhD

Cheif Product Officer

As Chief Product Officer at UbiQD, Dr. Matt Bergren leads the company’s product development efforts, sales, and product manufacturing, including the company’s first commercial agriculture product, UbiGro. He plays a critical role in continuing the company’s path of technology development and vision of powering product innovations in agriculture, clean energy, and security.

He serves as the principal investigator for UbiQD’s contract with NASA, focused on tailoring the solar spectrum for enhanced crop production for space missions. Dr. Bergren’s leadership experience includes serving on the board of directors for the New Mexico Energy Manufacturing Institute, focused on job creation in New Mexico’s energy, and related manufacturing community.