Autoflower hemp offers many advantages for equatorial climates and is quickly becoming best-suited for CBD hemp growers in the southern United States and Latin America.
Autoflower hemp works just like the name suggests — these varietals go quickly, almost automatically, into flower production, without needing the daylight cues required by traditional hemp cultivars. This is a considerable advantage for hemp growers close to and south of the equator.
The biggest challenge for autoflower hemp strains has been a lack of reliable, productive strains. But, with more autoflower varietals introduced — Trilogene Seeds has four autoflower cultivars in our 2021 lineup — southern growers now have many more options for autoflower strains appropriate for their CBD hemp business.
Why Plant Autoflower in Southern Regions?
Autoflower hemp originated from a wild variety of hemp, Cannabis ruderalis, collected from harsh northern conditions in Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Autoflower is a different species of cannabis than the traditional fiber and CBD hemp species (Cannabis sativa x indica). Because of where autoflower hemp originated, it offers unique characteristics — specifically the ability to flower without needing nights to become longer than days. It also develops harvestable flower incredibly fast, within 65 to 95 days depending on the cultivar and specific conditions.
One of Trilogene’s favorite 2021 introductions, AutoBot, is ready to harvest in just 65 to 75 days from germination. For growers in southern climates with warm weather, this speedy germ-to-harvest turnaround time — with no worrying about day-length — can equal as many as four consecutive plantings in the same period that the traditional, “photoperiodic” hemp varietals would produce just one crop.
Because the plants are much smaller in size, autoflower hemp can be planted much more densely than traditional CBD cultivators, resulting in many more plants in the same space. We recommend a two-foot square spacing for growing AutoBot outdoors whereas our traditional cultivars, like Berry Wine for instance, prefer five foot square spacing when planted outdoors.
While it depends on many factors, the total density per acre for autoflower hemp plants is typically at least 8,000 plants, with as many as 20,000 plants per acre not uncommon. Traditional CBD cultivars usually max out at 3,500 plants per acre.
Breeding for Better Autoflower Hemp
No hemp varietals start perfect and autoflower hemp was undoubtedly not an exception to that rule. Until just recently, there were very few autoflower varietals on the market.
The original autoflower varietals, while being very fast to harvest, were lamented for their low flower and cannabinoid production. Autoflowers also have an unfortunate rep for being prone to mildew and mold in wet, humid conditions. All those issues have been improved with consistent breeding goals, which Trilogene is looking to prove with our exciting new 2021 autoflower lineup including four fantastic cultivars.
Trilogene Seeds has been working since 2017 to breed better autoflower varietals. We partner with growers in southern climates to breed out and select the most promising new plants for our parent breeding stock. Interested in partnering with us to develop a new autoflower strain appropriate for your region of the world? Check out our blog post about opportunities for international partnerships.
Our cultivars are producing above-average amounts of CBD and flowers per plant that, when combined with the potential for many more plants in the same space plus multiple harvests, equals promising returns for growers in the southern states and Latin America.