Mockingbird Cultivation Testimonial and Case Study
Grow Operation Relies on Efficient, Dependable Temperature and Humidity Control
Strong, healthy plants are the key to success in any commercial growing operation. Calibrating a precise environment where plants can thrive depends on controlling a number of variables, from humidity to temperature and more. That’s why Mockingbird Cannabis, a Mississippi company, chose Quest dehumidifiers and AGronomic IQ HVAC systems for their 163,000-square-foot facility, where 34 varieties of medical marijuana are cultivated and processed.
Quality Begins with Precise Control
“Delivering a fresh, high-quality product to the market is imperative,” says Josh Beckett, Operations Manager for Mockingbird Cannabis. In building out the facility, Josh and his team identified early on that Quest dehumidifiers and AGronomic IQ HVAC systems would be essential to creating and maintaining an ideal growing environment for the cannabis plants.
“They’re the industry gold standard, in my opinion,” Josh says. “I’ve had experience with several types of systems in my previous work, building hotels and working with desert air systems—and Quest dehumidifiers and AGronomic IQ HVAC systems are just hands-down a better product, which use less power, and are much easier to work with than other systems out there.”
Cannabis plants require very specific environmental set points, such as precise vapor pressure deficits (VPDs) to ensure mold and pathogens don’t build up in grow rooms. “If we don’t have the right humidity in these spaces, our plants won’t grow as big or be as healthy,” Josh explains.
Conventional wisdom used to be that keeping grow rooms as dry as possible was the best way to prevent mold and mildew. Yet growers now understand that plants thrive best in closely monitored levels of humidity. VPDs are a proven way to monitor and control the plant conditions that growers spend a lot of time and money to create.
Each of the four “flowering rooms” that are currently operational require their own unique environments, suited to the needs of the specific strain of plants being grown in each space. “When you have a negative event with humidity, it can stunt the whole room and you could lose an entire crop,” Josh says.
Efficiency Equals Profitability
It’s clear that the viability of a growing operation depends on maintaining a steady and predictable humidity level, avoiding spikes in the air moisture that can cause plants to struggle. That’s why the ability of Quest dehumidifiers to pull moisture out of the air more efficiently than competitors’ systems is key–and it directly impacts the bottom line.
Quest dehumidifiers’ efficiency is calculated by how much water is pulled from the air per kilowatt hour of energy: The more water being extracted per kilowatt hour, the bigger the energy savings and return on investment.
Those energy savings can be substantial, especially for large facilities with many units. Mockingbird Cannabis uses primarily Quest 506 units, which utilize MERV-13 filtration to capture dust, mold, powdery mildew, and some viruses in the air. EPA indoor air quality testing shows that MERV-13 filtration is 20% more effective than the closest competitor’s MERV-11 filtration, and 65% more effective than MERV-8 filtration.
When it comes to the success of grow operations like Mockingbird’s, efficiency and
effectiveness are both important. While saving money by having the most efficient systems possible is always top of mind, at the end of the day, the dehumidification systems absolutely must be effective. As Josh says, issues such as powdery mildew “can turn a million-dollar crop into a $250,000 crop right away. There’s often no coming back from that.”
Designed for Reliability
“When it comes to dehumidifiers, Quest has to be the most reliable that I’ve seen,” says Josh. “I’ve used a lot of others on the market, and experienced growers all agree that Quest is the way to go. It’s a better design, better construction, and we have less issues with maintenance. All in all, you’re getting more bang for your buck.”
The streamlined design of Quest dehumidifiers also means that any maintenance required on the units can easily and quickly be done by maintenance staff, without disrupting the grow operations. In addition, Josh notes, “The customer service is second to none. Hands down, they are the most attentive, and quickest to respond.”
Mockingbird also has a high level of confidence in the reliability of the AGronomic IQ HVAC units. “With AGronomnic IQ and Quest in my grow rooms, we don’t have to worry about the units going down, or building up pathogens or bacteria inside them. The filter systems are very easy to remove and clean. It works out perfectly,” he says.
Compatibility Makes Monitoring Easier
The Quest and AGronomic units also seamlessly connect to Mockingbird’s Grow Link system, the interface that allows growers to manually change and monitor the set points of the rooms. “The systems all communicate with each other well,” says Josh. “Together, they create a really ‘tight’ environment. So not only are we using the top-of-the-line dehumidifiers and HVAC systems, but we’ve also got it hooked up to a sequential operation that allows us to mitigate 100% of the spikes that can occur in the grow rooms.”
A Return on Air—and Return on Investment
It all works together to create peace of mind for Josh and his team. “Air quality is number one,” he says. “We clean the grow room spaces physically, and we know that our Quest and AGronomics IQ units are scrubbing the air for us and keeping our air quality where it needs to be. Poor air quality leads to poor yields, a lower-quality product and less sales—which is ultimately not good for the company. For us, success means being the brand name people think of for locally grown, high-quality medicine,” Josh says.
“At Mockingbird, we’re a group of highly motivated people coming together to create the best product we can for our customers and patients,” Josh explains. “Madison Air, and our Quest and AGronomic IQ representatives, are totally invested in our success.”