Hemp Breeding & Selection Process

Rooting

Vegetative

Flowering

All Hemp genetics are bred by transferring pollen onto a female plant.

The resulting seeds are considered a genetically specific cultivar.

All Cultivars have multiple phenotypic variability; although they share the same male and female, they express differently.  Think of it like siblings from the same parents.  One kid has green eyes and one has brown eyes.  The same goes for hemp phenotypic variability.  Phenotypes of the same genetics can express in different ways.  This can affect their grow time and flowering cycle.

The most important thing for a clone producer is determining which phenotype of each specific genetic is the best of that strain, recording all the data for that particular phenotype and educating customers on performance expectations for that plant in their field.

At Royale Botanicals, all the cultivars for our mother stock plants, used to produce future clones, go through a rigorous selection process before being introduced to the market.  That applies to all cultivars and all mother stock plants, whether they are bred in-house or well-established cultivars on the market.

The total time we invest into selecting the best phenotypes from a hemp cultivar we bred in-house, or genetics from another breeder, is just under 2 years. Only then we feel confident to offer these genetics to farmers, as our mission is to deliver superior clones to our customers, who in turn have a successful growing season.

Stage 1: Ensuring Each Phenotype is 100% Female
  1. Sowing hemp seeds of a specific cultivar, germinating & growing seedlings
    a. 4 week process.
  2. Transplanting all germinated seedlings into larger pots to grow in vegetative stage (long days) for several weeks to document growth habit
    a. 4 week process.
  3. Moving all seedlings to short days and sexting out any males and/or hermaphrodites that appear in the cultivar
    a. 6 week process.
  4. Labeling each remaining female plant with specific lot number and moving back into long days to revegetate
    a. 6 week process.

Total Time for stage 1 = 20 weeks (approx. 5 months)

Once we determine all hemp plants are 100% female, and there are no hermaphroditic traits present in the selected phenomes, we then move into the next stage of the mother stock selection process - the phenotype selection for each cultivar. Since a hemp cultivar strain can have upwards of 10+ phenotypes in its genetics, it is crucial we go through this next process in determining which of the phenotypes have the best growing traits for that particular strain, so we can isolate it for potential clone production in the following season.

Stage 2: Phenotype Selection Process
  1. We take cuttings from each specific plant with their allocated lot numbers, transplant and grow them to determine root success. This is where we initiate our first culling of phenotypes based on the rooting success of each lot number.  All clones with less than 90% rooting are discarded at this stage.a. 4 week process
  2. We then apply new lot numbers to all clones with 90% or better rooting. After transplanting into larger pots and making each a temporary mother stock plant, we continue to evaluate their growth and plant habit. All plants exhibiting poor growth during this period, are discarded at this time.a. 6 week process
  3. We now take multiple cuts from each of the “new” mother stock plants, root out the clones and transplant them into larger pots to have a couple weeks of vegetative growth. All of the plants are labeled with their specific lot number, that is synonymous with their mother stock plant and are then moved to short days.a. 6 week process
  4. Once all these plants are moved into short days, they begin their flower initiation and we begin to take flower samples from each plant, starting the 4th week into short days. We then send these samples to a state certified independent lab to run CoA’s on them.  We do this weekly for 5 weeks to determine the CBD & THC % and ratio of each phenotype and choose the best 3 to save for the next stage of trialing - our field trials.  All other phenotypes are discarded.a. 9 week process.

Total Time for stage 2 = 25 weeks (approx. 6 months)

Once we have selected the top 3 performing phenotypes from each cultivar, we transplant 100 plants of each phenotype in our R&D field in the month of June and document the growth of each phenotype during the field trial. This process is important not only to determine the best performing phenotype from a particular strain in regard to controlled growing and CoA results, but also the best phenotype for outdoor, field growing, where the plants are exposed to the elements.

Stage 3: Field Growing Trial
  1. Selecting 3 winning phenotypes from the previous stage and cultivating 100 clones from each to plant in the field.a.5 week process
  2. Planting 100 plants of each phenotype in the R&D field trial and growing through entire outdoor hemp season (June thru September)while taking notes on plant growth, habit, performance in the field, etc.a. 4 month process
  3. Starting at the end of August, depending on flower development, we begin taking weekly flower samples of each phenotype and sending them to a state certified independent lab for CoAs. Weekly lab results assist us in tracking and recording the CBD & THC % content for each phenotype.
  4. We then Harvest all phenotypes and gather wet weight data.
  5. After drying & curing, we gather dry weight data on each phenotype
  6. We then analyze all data and determine which phenotype is best based on CoA’s, field growing performance, and weight.
  7. The best phenotype is then kept for Tissue Culture indexing. The remaining phenotypes are discarded.
  8. Top phenome selection is sent to Tissue Culture lab for indexing to ensure genetic is index free and has no viruses, bacterial, or other disease pressures in its DNA
  9. The top performing phenotype Tissue Culture starts are delivered to our greenhouse as “Elite Stock” in late winter and are used to create our mother stock plants for the season.
  • These Mother Stock plants are now used to produce weekly cuttings which are then cultivated into clones in our facility and later sold to farmers during the outdoor growing season.

Total Time for stage 3 = 21 weeks (approx. 5 months)

We utilize advanced tissue culture indexing and meristem technology which have made the process of isolating specific genetic spores possible. All of our top performing cultivars spores have been cryogenically stored in a data bank for future use.   This allow us to begin each new season with genetically identical mother stock plants and ensures we have the exact same plant, year after year and no genetic “drift” ever occurs.

The total time we invest into selecting the best phenotypes from a hemp cultivar we bred in-house, or genetics from another breeder, is just under 2 years. Only then we feel confident to offer these genetics to farmers, as our mission is to deliver superior clones to our customers, who in turn have a successful growing season.