Next to trimming, bucking is the biggest “choke point” to the harvesting process. You’ll see a lot of variation in bucking techniques from one cultivator to the next, and there’s no hard-and-fast rules for right and wrong.
We’ll break down our preferred technique below, and explain why a few extra steps prior to trimming will lead to a higher quality product.
We recommend a 3-step process.
- Cut branches off the main trunk of the plant. Cut at the base where the branch intersects with the main trunk. You’ll then cut smaller stems off these first clippings. (Some cultivators refer to this step as rendering.) Continue cutting until you have single stems with no other stems coming off.
- Remove the large fan leaves. These large leaves will be growing from the stems and the lower portion of the flowers. By removing the fan leaves at this point, you’ll reduce the number of crow’s feet that need to be clipped after the trimming process. Crow’s feet are leftover stems underneath buds, and are not trim-able by any machine.
- Run your hand down the stem in a single, quick motion. This will strip or pop the buds from the stem. If you use a bucking machine, you would feed the stems into the machine for this part of the process.
Your flowers are now ready for trimming. Place them directly onto a conveyor, or in bins for transport to the trim room.
Many cultivators will speed this process up by leaving the branches as intact as possible before feeding into a bucking machine, and skip the fan leaf removal. They’ll then put the entire mass, (which will be a mix of flowers and fan leaves), into their trimming machine. That will make the bucking process much faster, and the Mobius Trimmer M108 will have no problem cutting through all the extra leaves. However, the fan leaves will now end up in your trim, greatly reducing its value for extracts or pre-rolls. By skipping the fan leaf removal you’ll also need QA to watch out for the crow’s feet that will be intact at the base of some of the flowers.
Bucking is an important step in the harvesting workflow, and can also be viewed as a pre-trim QA process. What does bucking look like at your facility? If you use a different technique, we’d love to hear about it, so please get in touch.
Mobius will be releasing a bucking machine to market very soon, so if you’re currently shopping for a bucking machine, hang tight! More details to come!