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Croptober is one of the most exciting times for cannabis growers and consumers. In the fall, the shorter days and cooler temperatures trigger the flowering phase.

At the end of this period, growers can harvest their mature buds and prepare them for sale.

Here are 9 things you need to know about this once-a-year phenomenon known as Croptober.

1. It Is Time to Harvest for Northern Hemisphere Growers

In the Northern Hemisphere, cannabis growers eagerly await Croptober, all of October and early November, to harvest their mature cannabis plants.

Of course, some strains flower earlier or later than others. Some strains may complete their flowering period in September or late November. But about 80 percent of cultivars are ready to harvest during the Croptober season.

One of the most important aspects of harvesting is timing. Growers monitor trichomes (tiny, mushroom-like glands on the cannabis flowers) to determine the optimal harvest time. When trichomes turn from clear to a milky white or amber color, it often indicates peak THC content and the ideal time to harvest.

2. Bulk Flower Prices May Go Down

cannabis flower in a bowl, croptober

As a bevy of cannabis growers harvest all of their plants in a matter of weeks, the influx of harvested cannabis can drive the price of bulk cannabis down for a short period.

While outdoor growers are keen to sell off their product, indoor growers must sell theirs at a relatively lower price than the rest of the year.

While this was a bigger problem a few years back, now there is a better balance of supply throughout the year to avoid major price changes.

The surge of freshly harvested cannabis throughout the month of Croptober has the potential to momentarily alter market pricing. Prices could fall for a brief period of time if there is an unexpected rise in the supply.

3. Growers Must Watch Out for Mold

When harvesting and storing their harvested cannabis, outdoor growers must be ready for inclement fall weather.

Heavy rain can physically damage crops and also increase the risk of mold and complete crop destruction.

Growers can start by selecting genetics resistant to mold. Planning harvests around the weather can reduce the risk of mold damage.

Late-stage flowering is very important, yet during this time the plant is more susceptible to mold, particularly bud rot. In the weeks running up to Croptober, it is absolutely necessary to perform routine checks on your plants and make certain that they are not just dry but also free of any pests.

4. Plants Need Adequate Support

In addition to the threat of mold from excessive moisture, the harsh weather could also cause physical damage from heavy rain or wind.

For this reason, growers should be prepared and ensure that the plants are adequately trellised and staked to support the heavy branches, especially if there is heavy rain on the way.

Windbreaks can reduce wind damage.

5. Croptober Farm Tours

As a cannabis tourist, you are able to schedule a farm tour during the most exciting time of the season, when mature plants are at their peak freshness in terms of flavor, aroma, and potency.

During Croptober, you can get close to the plants, see an outdoor operation in person, and smell the deep and complex aroma of different cannabis cultivators.

6. More Employment Opportunities on the Farm

A surge of employment opportunities as a bud trimmer during Croptober is perfect for job seekers looking to enter the industry.

During this short time period, growers are looking for extra bud trimmers and grower’s assistants to trim, package, and label flower products for sale.

Most of these positions are entry-level but can provide advancement opportunities later on.

7. Harvesting Windows Are Short-Drying and Curing Is Important

Outdoor growers must wait for the right time to harvest their crops. They pay attention to a variety of indicators including aroma, pistil color, flower bud density, but most importantly, the color of the trichomes.

Growers may choose different times to harvest depending on the cultivar. Trichomes go from a clear to a milky white to an amber color when mature.

After being harvested, the cannabis buds must undergo the correct procedures for drying and curing. The development of flavor and potency are both dependent on the success of this process. The quality of the entire harvest can be jeopardized if drying or curing is not done correctly.

8. Croptober Is Not Common Everywhere

In some cannabis markets, such as Nevada, Croptober is not as big as it is in California or Oregon, where outdoor cultivation is more common.

Strict testing standards in some markets may make outdoor cultivation impractical, especially when pesticides are needed. In addition, some regional climates are not conducive to outdoor growing.

9. Wildfire Damage Threatens Crops

In wildfire-prone regions of the country, outdoor growers must also prepare against damage from wildfires, including fire, ash, and smoke, which can affect the purity of the plants.

Manually blowing or washing off the ash can reduce the smoky and ashy aroma and flavor of the buds while keeping the trichomes intact.

Tenting the plants with a clear material should be reserved for short periods of time when smoke and ash are a big problem.

The weather has a greater chance of becoming unexpected as winter draws closer. There is a possibility of precipitation, as well as early frosts. Mold can develop in damp environments, and frost can kill or severely harm plants.

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Cannabis growers have a responsibility to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and be ready to start harvesting earlier than normal or take other precautions to safeguard their plants.

Celebrate #Croptober

Croptober is a magical time for growers and consumers alike. As the smell of cannabis permeates throughout the air, growers can feel satisfied they produced a high-quality product and consumers can enjoy freshly harvested cannabis purchased at a reasonable price.

Croptober may only come once a year but it is a year-long process that deserves celebration.

Croptober is not only a time for working; however, it is also a time for festivities. To commemorate the arrival of harvest time, many cannabis communities throw Croptober festivals, celebrations, and parties, particularly in regions where cannabis production is permitted by law.

What does Croptober stand for?

Croptober is the month in which outdoor cannabis growers finally start to see the fruits of their labor after months of tending to cannabis plants during the vegetative and flowering stages of the plant's life cycle. October is a broad timeframe that is used by many outdoor producers in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the actual time of harvest might vary based on the strain of cannabis as well as the environment of the individual region.

Luis Cordova
Luis Cordova

Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.

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