WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR DISINFECTION?
Generally speaking, more controlled environments are easier from a pest management
standpoint. This holds true for cannabis production facilities as well: greenhouses
are designed to let outside air inside, which comes with a risk of pathogen
introduction from the environment. Also, maintaining proper air circulation is an
important factor in preventing the spread of certain infections such as powdery
mildew, which is easier to achieve in a sealed indoor environment.
In terms of the actual process of cleaning and disinfecting, this really comes down to
the types of surfaces that are present in a facility. Disinfectants are designed for
use on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as stainless steel, most plastics, and rubbers.
On the other hand, soft, porous surfaces are much more difficult to properly
disinfect, and should be avoided where possible throughout your production areas.
When addressing the key differences in disinfection practice between the two growing
environments, it is also important to consider a perpetual harvest approach vs. a
complete room harvest. While employing a perpetual harvest, as a majority of
greenhouses do, you cannot spray or foam a disinfectant as plants will still be in the
room. In contrast, most indoor facilities will harvest the entire room, which allows
them to use spray or foam applications and reduce the total time spent cleaning.
Another thing to consider is surface coverage – ideally, it should be easy for your
disinfectant to achieve full coverage of the surfaces throughout your facility.
Greenhouses tend to have more cracks and small spaces where pathogens can hide, making
it more difficult to ensure that the entire area is being adequately covered.
Although both surface type and surface coverage are important general considerations
in building a disinfection program, every facility is unique. It’s critical to the
health of your plants and your team to develop a disinfection program that is the
right fit for your facility, including compliance with local regulations and ease of
implementation. In future posts, we’ll take a deep dive into the various factors that
will help make your disinfection program successful, protecting the health of your
yield throughout the entire production process.