10 Questions to Evaluate Your Croptober

by Ostap RapeykoNovember 12, 2019

If you have outdoor plants, you know the importance of the fall harvest, Croptober. As a cannabis business operator, performing well can make or break your year. Since you're done harvesting, read this short blog on what to pay attention to when evaluating your Croptober. Then, take the quiz to see how your Croptober scored to get ready for next year!

1. What was your overall cost per gram for flower?

This question is the most important question to answer for a cannabis cultivation. This cost dictates all other prices and margins and can be a crippling problem when it is not tracked accurately.

2. What price did you get for your cannabis?

This figure is largely driven by supply and demand within your regulation boundaries. Despite that, even a few cents per gram can make a significant difference in your overall margin, so it’s important for you to do take the proper steps to ensure you are receiving the right prices. Tracking cultivation practices from seed-to-sale, including pesticides used, nutrients used and batch lab results can give you and your product more credibility in the eyes of the consumer.

3. What percent of your waste product were you able to sell to processors or turn into processed material yourself?

Many new cultivations have trouble finding outlets for non-flower or trim product. Sometimes regulations require cultivators to destroy waste product, but in other scenarios, waste can be sold to processors at volume to make up margin. If you haven’t discovered a way to make use for your waste product, consider joining an industry trade association to discover new contract opportunities. Waste can also occur from inefficient harvesting tactics, so consider how much was lost during that phase specifically.

4. What percent of product did you lose during harvest specifically?

Wet weight loss and product lost to negative impacts like mold, pests or hermaphroditism are almost inevitable, but controlling these factors can lead to drastically improved margins. Generally, these costs should be kept as low as possible.

5. What percentage of your cost was labor?

Labor is one of the highest expenses for most companies, and cannabis is no different. Higher costs associated with high volume harvests are important to control. This applies to both the cultivation phase, and the drying/trimming phase. Whether trimmers are hired on a temporary basis or are full-time employees, it’s important to secure the resources to ensure your harvest is completed to sellable product while also controlling that cost. Many large-scale operations have shifted to machine trimming, which they can either purchase the machinery themselves or hire a group that has the machinery already to come in on a temporary basis until the harvest is complete.

6. Did you meet all regulatory deadlines to ensure your harvest complied?

When it comes to compliance, you either complied or you didn’t, there is no “mostly compliant” in the eyes of the enforcement agencies. In most states, penalties for these infractions can destroy your harvest, and ultimately your credibility. Some rules are specific enough to say that any plant harvested must be reported on to the state track-and-trace system by the end of that day within a drying chamber or to another post-harvest use.

7. How did your strain portfolio perform compared to expectations?

Sometimes, it’s easy to get excited about a new strain you decided to grow, but it’s vital to analyze how that strain performed compared to other strains in your portfolio. Did you discover that your harvest of 500 Blue Dream plants had a 5% higher yield than your harvest of 500 Sour Kush plants? Consider planting more Blue Dream, while keeping a few Sour Kush plants if the demand for that strain is high enough.

8. What propagation method performed the best?

Many growers of cannabis tend to use clones, however traditional seed growth and tissue culture propagation have gained popularity as well. Did you notice significant differences in the overall performance of this harvest by method? Analyze things like costs per gram, flowering times, profits generated, lost associated, etc. Depending on some other variables like strain and growing environment, it may make sense to diversify or consolidate your propagation variety.

9. Did you have trouble selling your harvest?

If you couldn’t secure contracts for your entire harvest, at least 4-6 weeks ahead of time, it may be time to think about how to better market your brand to wholesalers or other licenses. Markets range in licensing and saturation, however if you are in a competitive market, good brand visibility can give that extra edge in front of the competition. Not to mention, the power of word of mouth referrals in cannabis is unrivaled, so be sure to take care of your partner relationships. Have you ever participated in a trade show or buyers’ cup event? Have you hired sales people to secure wholesale contracts at the best price? It may also be time to think about having the option of a processing and/or retail facility under your company umbrella to control the cost of the entire supply chain.

10. What was your favorite part about this harvest?

Was it the first time you were able to smell the terpenes from your newly budding flower? Or perhaps your favorite part was how a particular employee stepped up and kept your harvest on target? It’s important to think about these wins from a morale standpoint and to focus on what is enjoyable. It may be dollars and sense in the end that are the most important, but it’s also important to enjoy what you do and be passionate enough to evaluate how you did and look to improve.

Now that you've read the blog, take the Croptober Quiz to see your results!

If you have any trouble generating the numbers in this questionnaire for your business, contact MJ Platform by clicking here to schedule a demo of the dynamic Business Intelligence engine.

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