EnviroZyme® announced its participation in H2Ohio, a broad-reaching water quality plan launched by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. The initiative seeks targeted, long-lasting solutions to improve wastewater infrastructure, prevent lead contamination, and reduce algal blooms.
EnviroZyme’s involvement centers on exploration of the effectiveness of specialized bacterial strains as a treatment for farm fields’ soil, manure, and compost to reduce phosphorus in runoff—a leading contributor to algal blooms—as well as collaboration with several cross-functional organizations. Key among these partners are Mark and Tyler Drewes, owners and operators of Drewes Farms, a large cash grain operation located in the southwest corner of Wood County near Hoytville. They are the fifth generation of their family to farm the land.
“I am passionate about improving and expanding the current operation for the sixth and seventh generations,” said Mark Drewes. “I believe that development and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices is the single most important thing I can do for my children and their children.”
Keith Kennedy, former VP of Research & Development for Betco and EnviroZyme, believes that keeping phosphorous in growers’ fields through microbiological amendment is both an environmentally and economically sustainable solution. This approach, he said, “Will decrease nutrient levels in runoff and reduce fertilizer costs. These mutually beneficial results will simultaneously meet H2Ohio and grower objectives and could be commercially deployed under current regulations.”
Currently, Kennedy is conducting water, soil, and manure studies and screening biological treatment candidates. The laboratory work, slated for completion by April 2021, will inform a field test on Drewes Farms, while historical data regarding nutrient concentrations in the farm’s runoff will—sometime next year—aid in determination of the experiment’s success.