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  • 11 December 2018 12:32

World-first test proves Roots' RZTO increases cannabis yields under frosty 'open field' conditions

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited showed a 40 to 272 percent increase in average cannabis plant wet weight in the world’s first Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) heating pilot on cannabis in an open field.

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) today released interim results showing a 40 to 272 percent increase in average cannabis plant wet weight in the world’s first Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) heating pilot on cannabis in an open field.

Conducted during October and November 2018 in an open field in Washington State in the United States, Roots’ patented RZTO heating technology was used on several cannabis strains in various RZTO heating treatment architectures (216 plants) and corresponding control groups (81 un-heated plants). Cannabis roots were heated to stabilise root temperatures at optimal degrees despite air temperatures dropping below zero degrees centigrade.

Roots CEO, Dr Sharon Devir said, “These interim cannabis results have exceeded our expectations, particularly as they were achieved in an open field with heavy frost conditions. The wide wet weight range was due to the different types of cannabis strains and heat management architectures. Our RZTO technology is the only way for growers to mitigate the risks of high-value crops in open fields, where plants are exposed to extreme external weather conditions.

“Companies like Roots are in a sweet spot in the US cannabis market at present. The recreational cannabis market in the United States has developed rapidly with many crops now being grown in the open field due to lower initial capital expenditure. However, as cannabis prices have fallen due to an increase in supply, growers are needing to turn to ag-tech equipment to dramatically improve crop yield and quality.

“In addition to increasing plant wet weight and corresponding yield by stabilising the root temperatures, we expect final results to show faster growth rates. This will allow growers to benefit from higher, premium prices for longer periods. With these performance figures, farmers can expect in most treatments and breeds to get a return on their investment within a year, depending on the price per gram the farmer receives.”

Chief executive at American Farms Consulting, Mr Elad Kohen said, “Roots’ RZTO technology has allowed our clients to better control crop climate during the tricky fall conditions, dramatically increasing wet weight by as much as 272 percent. Based on the local Washington state price per gram (US$0.30) this yield increase can equate to an additional income of US$60,000 to US$405,000 per acre for 40% to 270% yield increase respectively. There is direct correlation in most strains between wet weight, size of the plant and the eventual yield per plant.

“The recreational and medical cannabis markets are highly competitive with growers increasingly looking to new, clean technologies to increase profitability and extend growing cycles. We look forward to continue and expand our working relationship with Roots, and together, help many producers increase the quality and productivity of their work.”

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