Biofertilizers Improve Water Quality
Updated: Apr 19, 2022
Do you live in a residential area that has a storm pond? What is the condition of that storm pond in July and August?
Do you have a favourite lake you and your family frequently visit every summer?
Bodies of water in the prairies have rapidly started to deteriorate over the last couple of decades. Whether it's a storm pond with unsightly algae blooms, or a large lake that has to shut down recreation every July because of blue-green algae, there is a common denominator to these problems. NUTRIENT LOADING.
AdvancedAg has 2 solutions to this problem.
"Nutrients from manure and fertilizers enter lakes and streams through runoff and soil erosion. Generally, when soil-test nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) increase, greater amounts of plant-available N and P move with water. Runoff water from fields with high soil-test N and P may contain a high level of these dissolved nutrients, increasing the risk of contaminating streams, wetlands and lakes.
In addition, erosion carries fine particles of soil that are enriched with nutrients. Eroded soil particles with attached nutrients will accumulate as sediment in water resources and serve as a source of available nutrients during long periods of time.
When manure or commercial fertilizers enter surface water, the nutrients they release stimulate microorganism growth. The growth and reproduction of microorganisms reduce the dissolved oxygen content of the water body.
Without sufficient dissolved oxygen in surface water, fish and other aquatic species suffocate. The resulting dead fish and other aquatic species degrade the water quality and cause unpleasant odours.
Above, storm pond in the City of Calgary
Weed Growth and Algae
The number of plants and algae in a lake, pond or other water body increase with an increased supply of nutrients, particularly N and P. N and P are present in manure in sufficient quantity to be used as fertilizer for crop growth and will have a similar effect on algae and aquatic plants. As with crops, nutrient availability is the critical factor in the growth of aquatic plants and algae.
Introduction of even small amounts of the limiting nutrient to crops or aquatic systems can increase production substantially. In the case of agricultural crops, this is a good thing.
However, increased production of aquatic plants and algae is not healthy for water resources.
Any increase in the amount of aquatic plant growth ultimately will result in a reduced dissolved oxygen content of the water body, eventually suffocating fish and other aquatic species."
Yes, AdvancedAg has been able to treat lakes and storm ponds effectively, reducing nutrients in the ponds in a very short period of time. Take a look at what we were able to do on the very same storm pond as the picture above:
That's an incredible difference in just a couple months! Using natural bacteria to outcompete the nutrients algae thrives on is a HUGE bonus. This is where it all started for AdvancedAg and it is still a huge part of the company, as they work with lake associations and municipalities to treat problematic bodies of water.
BUT, does this solve the problem completely? Residents are still using synthetic fertilizers on their yards. Many municipalities are still using fertilizers on their parks, soccer fields and green strips. Farmers need to use fertilizer for crop production. After all, what other options are there?
What if you could use natural, organic soil bacteria to promote plant growth and reduce (or eliminate) fertilizer use? What if these bacteria species were also good for aquatic ecosystems? That's a game changer.
Lake-front residents could treat their lawns and not have to worry about what their lake will look like in 2 years from now. Parks, gardens, golf courses near or within city limits can use this bacteria to rapidly increase turf health, while keeping harmful nutrients away from bodies of water.
These bacteria take what's in the soil and convert nutrients that wouldn't otherwise be plant available, into an available form. Sounds like a much better option than dumping on nutrients and other harmful chemicals that damage our water.
The solutions do exist. They are proven, and the AdvancedAg team is going back to mother nature to make it happen.