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+7.7% Boost in Cannabis

AT A GLANCE

If the farm adopted the UbiGro technology across all 40 greenhouses on site and this yield improvement was consistently realized, it could profit an additional $320,000 per year, or an additional $1.28M over the 4-yr lifetime of the films.

194 cannabis plants. The strain was Indica-dominant Cherry Chem.

Frontier Farms Licensed recreational cannabis farm in Hood River, Oregon.

Hood River, OR, USA.

UbiGro® films were installed in one of 40 greenhouses at Frontier Farms, a licensed recreational cannabis farm in Hood River, Oregon. The films were mounted flush against the inside polyethylene cover of half of a 25’x90’ greenhouse. The UbiGro film covered 96 cannabis plants while the other half of the greenhouse had no UbiGro film and served as the control for the experiment. With 98 control plants, a total of 194 plants were monitored during the trial. The strain for the plant trial was the Indica-dominant Cherry Chem (Cherry Pie x Chem 4).

All conditions were kept identical for both sides of the experiment: watering and nutrient regimen, humidity and temperature, harvesting and pruning regimen, integrated pest management regimen, etc. The cultivation team at Frontier Farms made qualitative observations of the crop during the growth cycle. They noted that the plants under the UbiGro film were taller, with a little tighter buds, and overall grew with more vigor. After three months under the films, whole plant wet weights were reported in October of 2019.

“It seemed like they were growing better and bushier on the orange side.” – Owner, Head Grower Frontier Farms

Excluding edge and border rows that were particularly inhomogeneous in plant size on both sides of the trial, wet yields were increased by +7.7% on the film side of the trial. While final dry yields have not been reported as of this writing. We estimate this to be equivalent to a +3.1 lbs of dry, trimmed bud off the film side, based on an assumption of a 15% whole-wet-plant/dry-trimmed-bud ratio. No differences in trichome color, finishing time, bud color, bud odor/flavor or overall quality were observed. 

Samples were taken from both sides of the plant trial and were sent to Anova Laboratory (Hood River, OR) for cannabinoid testing. Total THC content was moderately increased for Cherry Chem grown under UbiGro, going from 22.5% to 23.5%, a relative increase of +4.4%.

Potency Summary: Cherry Chem

UbiGro Control Rel. Change

Total THC

23.5%
22.5%

+4.4%

Economics

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. During this trial, the full greenhouse will produce an estimated 80 lbs of dried, trimmed cannabis, excluding the 3-lb boost realized by the half covered by UbiGro. The greenhouse will produce double that amount given two rounds of harvests per year. The farm currently wholesales trimmed cannabis for $1000/lb. This equates to $160,000 in wholesale revenue from this single greenhouse per year. A +7.7% increase in yield translates to $12,320 increased revenues per year.

“I’m excited about being on the front lines with you guys. I think it’s gonna do us well.”
– Grower, Frontier Farms

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 extra cannabis, including harvesting, drying/curing, trimming, packaging, and transportation. However, fixed costs are not increased with additional yield. These 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 Frontier Farms 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 $8,000 additional profit per year from this greenhouse. Over the 4-yr life of the installed UbiGro film, the farm would benefit from $32,000 in additional profit from this greenhouse alone. 

If the farm adopted the UbiGro technology across all 40 greenhouses on site and this yield improvement was consistently realized, it could profit an additional $320,000 per year, or an additional $1.28M over the 4-yr lifetime of the films.

Greenhouse Details

Greenhouse Size: 25ft x 90ft 

Increased Revenue/Year: $12,320

Increased Profit/Year: $8,000

Increased Profit over Film Life: $32,000

Increased Profit over Film Life, Farm: $1.28 million

 

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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.