CenturionPro provides superior harvesting technologies to the cannabis and hemp industries. To stay ahead of the competition, our expert engineers are constantly leveraging grower feedback to innovate and improve our technologies. The elite solutions are developed with premium components to provide exceptional performance, whether de-stemming wet or dry. Following input from the community, we have compiled five of the best bucking tips for a profitable and pain free harvest.
1. PINPOINT A PURPOSE
The purpose of your harvest will determine your approach to bucking. When cultivating for smokable flower, extra diligence needs to be exercised to protect aesthetics. If growing for extraction purposes, product appearance is less important. To accommodate the different motivations for harvesting cannabis and hemp, CenturionPro’s buckers are specially designed to de-stem both wet and dry plants. When growing for cannabinoid extraction, growers are largely focussed on scale and efficiency, to reduce time to market and increase profitability. Bucking wet accelerates drying and decreases the opportunity for mould to form, which can decimate an entire crop. Flowers are at their hardiest when still wet, and can be de-stemmed easily without the larger colas breaking apart.
To cultivate exceptional smokable flower, growers should aim to dry plants as slowly as possible. Slow drying has been credited with greater trichome preservation and a thorough removal of chlorophyll, producing a smoother smoke. This requires whole plants to be hanged upside down in a well-ventilated environment below 20˚C. Once dry flowers need to handled carefully to avoid damage, which is why our Gentle Cut buckers have been developed to delicately slice buds from stems, rather than popping them off. To ensure a clean and safe product for medical patients and recreational consumers, bucker operators need to wear sanitized protective clothing including hairnets, coveralls and disposable gloves – with gloves vital to prevent trichomes detaching from flowers and sticking to fingers.
2. PREPARE YOUR PLANTS
While CenturionPro’s de-stemming solutions can process wet and dry cannabis, if stems are too dry they may break upon entry. Community feedback suggests the ideal moisture content is around 13%, with fully dry buds too fragile to buck. Without specialist non-invasive measuring devices, gauging moisture accurately can be nearly impossible. As such, we recommend their utility through cultivation and harvesting. Once plants are ready to be de-stemmed cut the main stalk close to base, to allow a sufficient length with which to feed the machine. Separate each individual stem from the main stalk, with clean cuts to avoid leaving bumps that could prevent a smooth feed-rate. Our buckers benefit from a range of input sizes, to ensure stems are stripped comprehensively.
To streamline bucking and lower overheads, plants should be separated stalk diameter when cut. This avoids operators having to second guess which opening to use and when, which simplifies and speeds up the task. If the wrong size hole is used, plants will not be destemmed properly and will require manual intervention to minimize wastage, eating into the efficiency of using specialist cannabis buckers.
3. FUNCTIONALITY AND FEED-RATE
To achieve optimal results when using CenturionPro’s bucking machines, insert stalks bottom first into the closest fitting hole – steadily controlling the feed-rate. This ensure that even the smallest popcorn buds are removed first time, avoiding the need for stems to be re-processed. Feed the machine slowly with the majority of flowers facing directly up, using a container or conveyor belt to catch de-stemmed cannabis flower. Try to keep this collection device close to the bucker’s entrance, to avoid flower falling from a height that may cause damage.
To avoid squashing flowers avoid trying to force stems through the machine. This is especially important when using the Gentle Cut buckers, which produce over 3,000 cuts per minute. Let the specialist cannabis de-budders gently slice flower from stems, rather than pulling or popping them off. The High Performance range and XL MegaBucker benefits from variable speed control, which proves to be particularly beneficial when bucking dry cannabis. Anecdotal reports suggest that by reducing the tempo by half, growers can mitigate compression even when bucking the driest of flowers. This enables savvy cultivators to extend the drying process, for a more matured cannabinoid and terpene profile.
4. SCRUTINIZE STRIPPED STEMS
Slower machine speeds have also been attributed to more thoroughly stripped branches. However, growers should also monitor processed plants to ensure every flower and sugar leaf has been removed. CenturionPro’s elite de-stemming technologies benefit from blower bags, which collects de-budded stalks to minimize cleaning and provide a safe workplace. These bags should be meticulously checked after each batch, as anything with trichomes should be kept can be refined to maximize a harvest’s value.
If this stage is skipped, operations are essentially leaving money on the table. If growers find that the smallest buds are consistently not being bucked properly, they should consider using smaller infeed holes or dropping their feed rate. These popcorn buds may not be big enough to sell on their own, but as they contain considerable cannabinoids they can be diverted into pre-rolls or processed into extracts. Even stems devoid of foliage can be retted for fibre or mulched to feed the next crop.
5. CLEAN, RINSE AND REPEAT
CenturionPro’s elite harvesting solutions are developed alongside the cannabis community with the world’s best-brand name parts, to provide unparalleled performance. To maintain the excellence of the industry leading specialist cannabis buckers, they need be properly cared for. Before and after use the technologies should be checked to ensure they are clean and functioning correctly.
To accelerate bucking our machines have easily removable back panels. Direct access to the minimizes downtime for cleaning and when clearing obstructions. Over time these rollers can become sticky with resin, especially when de-stemming wet plants, which reduces their efficiency. To remove gummed on resin, wash mechanisms with rubbing alcohol following each use. This also helps sterilise the machines and promotes industry compliance.
As a supplier of harvesting automation solutions, CenturionPro is committed to continue servicing customers during the COVID-19 crisis. By doing so we hope to improve the automation of the world’s cannabis producers. Allowing them to meet the growing demand while still complying with government-imposed restrictions and recommendations. To speak with us about how to improve harvesting automation at your farm or facility, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-855-535-0558 or 1.604.457.1101.
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