Gender Screen Cannabis Seedlings for Better ROI on Pheno Hunting

So you have decided it’s time to bring some new genetics into your garden. This is an exciting time for any grower as you get to explore the diversity of cannabis and discover new and interesting varieties. 

However, pheno hunting is not without costs in the form of space, time, and labor. Nurturing seedlings requires more time and resources than growing from fresh cuttings. And your team is going to spend lots of time collecting valuable data they will use to determine which plants they will select for motherhood. 

If you are popping traditional seeds, that cost is amplified because approximately 40% of your seeds will grow to be undesirable males. However, by simply screening one-week-old seedlings for gender using qPCR testing, you can cull males early, improving the results of your pheno hunt project and get a better return on your investment.   

These seedlings have been screened for gender using a small hole punch in each leaf.

Make better use of space, pop more seeds

Traditional seeds will produce a canopy that is approximately 40% male, and that’s significant if the space you have set aside for pheno hunting is limited.  

By screening your seedlings for gender, you can ensure that your entire space is filled with potential moms and not deadbeat dads. This will widen your pool of potential choices, and it means you get to pop more seeds! 

Focus labor on productive plants 

The average plant will be transplanted three times before it shows visual signs of sex. It will also be pruned, watered, and in some states, it will have to be tagged and logged into the seed-to-sale tracking system. All of these tasks cost valuable time and money. Screening out unproductive males at the seedling stage ensures that you will only ever spend time on plants that will produce sellable flower. 

Increase your harvest and your revenue

At the end of your pheno hunt, you should have one or more mothers to add to your operation. And the ones that didn’t make the cut will be harvested for flower. By filling your space with productive females, you can maximize the harvest at the end of your pheno hunt and get the biggest return on your investment. How big? See below. 

Calculate how much revenue is wasted on males 

We developed a tool to help growers calculate how much revenue they are missing out on by waiting to visually sex their plants. We think you will find that performing early gender detection with FemINDICAtor pays for itself when you consider the additional revenue generated from an all-female canopy and the resource savings. 

Cannabis leaf with test tubeskannapedia on laptop