The process of growing both marijuana and hemp involves several steps, from planting seeds and nurturing the plants to harvesting and processing the final product.
One of the vital steps between harvest and sale is bucking (also known as de-budding or de-stemming). Bucking is the process of removing the flowers and leaves from the stalk, which can be done by hand or through the use of a bucking machine. Depending on the goal of the farmer, some will take this untrimmed material and process it as is for textiles or building materials. Other farmers may choose to take their bucked material and use it to produce oils to capitalize on the legalization of CBD products. With the exception of farmers that use the whole plant, most growers will require a bucker in order to efficiently process their harvest.
Benefits of Using a Bucking Machine
There are several benefits to de-stemming your harvest with a bucking machine instead of by hand. The main reason for farmers to choose a bucking machine is for the purpose of improving efficiency. As with most things, the process of bucking by hand in comparison to using a machine is more costly and time consuming. The use of a machine also reduces human elements, which can lead to potential errors and lack of attention to detail.
By using a de-stemming machine, farmers can improve their efficiency and buck more per hour. In fact, with the use of a bucker, growers will be able to achieve a buck rate of 150 to 500lbs per hour of fully hydrated product – depending on the user and the quality of bucker. In addition, while a bucker may be a larger upfront cost, it can pay for itself in as little as a single harvest and will be a viable tool for years to come.
Types of Buckers
If you are considering automating the bucking process, it is important to note that there are two different types of buckers currently available to cultivators.
The first bucker style utilizes a cutting action, which cleanly separates the buds from the stem. One example of this is the brand new CenturionPro GC bucker line. The clean cut produced from this style prevents the large crown buds from breaking into smaller pieces, thereby keeping the structure of the flowers fully intact and preserving the look of your bud. This is ideal for farmers looking to sell CBD flower in the marketplace as many consumers judge these products on appearance, as well as smell.
The other style of bucker is the most popular in the industry and utilizes rollers, which pull the stem into the machine and “pop” the flowers off – such as the HP bucker. This style bucker is even more efficient than the cutting version, therefore allowing you to continuously feed the bucker for more efficient de-stemming. This type of bucker is well suited for farmers that want to produce CBD oils, where the appearance of the bud is less important. It is also ideal for harvesters that have a lot of material to process and require the most efficient de-stemming and trimmer systems available.
Are You Harvest Ready?
As harvest season fast approaches, it is important to understand the scale of your grow and consider the benefits of automating various processes. Not only does automation through the use of de-stemming machines help to improve efficiency, but it also reduces the possibility for error and ensures a consistent result each and every time.