As a cannabis facility owner in the New England area, you need to be aware of the various potential threats that can impact your business. One of the lesser-known but significant threats to cannabis plants is the occurrence of Hop latent viroid (HpLVd) infection. This infection is a serious concern for all cannabis cultivators as it can harm plants and lead to yield loss. In this blog post, we will discuss what HpLVd is, how it affects cannabis plants, and steps you can take to prevent and manage it, including solutions we help provide to facility owners.
What is HpLVd?
HpLVd is a small, single-stranded, circular RNA virus that infects many economically important plants such as hops, grape, fruit trees, woody ornamentals, and of course, cannabis plants. The viroid is commonly transmitted through propagation materials such as cuttings, seeds, mother plants, and contaminated tools or machinery. Unlike traditional plant pathogens, HpLVd is not visible to the naked eye which makes it challenging to detect and prevent.
How Does HpLVd Affect Cannabis Plants?
HpLVd can infect cannabis plants through their roots, where it can proceed to cause significant stunting, yellowing, and necrosis of leaves. The severity of the disease varies depending on various factors such as plant cultivar, age, environmental conditions, and the virulence of the virus. Over time, it can affect the plant’s overall growth rate, rendering it unproductive. Long-term HpLVd infection can even reduce the THC/CBD concentration in the plants’ buds, which leads to a decrease in the plant’s potency and value.
Prevention and Management Measures
The most effective way to prevent HpLVd infection is to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation protocols in your growing environment. This is where Canna Klean can help. We set up and introduce facility deep cleaning programs and maintenance schedules that work with your facility in the way that is best for you and your team. When working with cannabis plants, make sure to always disinfect gardening tools and machinery, surfaces, and change clothes before and after moving plants from one garden to another. It’s also recommended that growers should periodically test plants for HpLVd infection using molecular diagnostic techniques like droplet digital PCR or RT-PCR.
In case of infection, you should immediately remove the infected plant and destroy it to prevent further contamination. Additionally, it’s essential to disinfect the surrounding growing environment to ensure that the virus does not spread. The sound management of the planting material sources and closely monitoring plant health are also key measures that growers can take to avoid the spread of this disease. We provide the deep cleaning remedies your facility needs to get your business back on track and decontaminated after an HpLVd outbreak.
HpLVd is a serious threat to cannabis plants worldwide, and it’s essential that cannabis facility owners in the New England area are knowledgeable about this virus and its impact on cannabis agriculture. Prevention and management of this disease require strict adherence to proper hygiene, sanitation, and careful material management protocols. With a sound understanding of the disease, growers can detect, prevent and manage HpLVd infections effectively and safeguard their operations.