“There were other microbial products out there, even beyond the cannabis space, but they did not accomplish what growers needed. Some of them were too narrow in their function and only focused on mobilizing one specific nutrient. Other products were representative of an older science and contained too many microorganisms in a bottle that would out-compete each other. Therefore, we’ve developed a select blend of beneficial bacteria that is based on science and gives visible results,” says Adam DeRosa, Co-Founder of Impello Biosciences.
The company makes biostimulants and has been primarily focused on the cannabis industry since it started in 2017. Yet Adam explains that the products will work on pretty much any crop. “Our products consist of different beneficial microorganisms that contribute to plant growth, help plants better tolerate stress, and increase nutrient uptake. Ultimately improving crop yield and quality.”
Products based on science
Adam explains that the company was created because of Michael Key, the CEO of Impello Biosciences. Michael was a Research Assistant at the Colorado State University Center for Rhizosphere Biology. “This was 8 or 9 years ago, shortly after cannabis legalization. Michael took the helm as Director of R&D of a vertically integrated 65-acre cannabis farm in Pueblo, Colorado.” Those two experiences of working in the lab and farming high CBD hemp at scale are what spawned the Impello. That is why we started in the cannabis space. Michael was familiar with the crop, it was a completely new industry, and there was an obvious need for reliable biostimulants,” Adam says. “We always said that we wanted to establish product validation in the cannabis industry to then introduce these biostimulants in other crop sectors. Over the past 6 years, we’ve continued to prioritize cannabis but have made significant progress in introducing our inputs to other specialty crop domains. Yet in our experience, cannabis growers adopt these biologics quicker than most other crop growers, largely because they are more concerned with quality.”
Thanks to Michael’s experience in the lab, Impello’s biostimulants are grounded in a new era of rhizosphere science. “Our first product was a select consortium of three Bacillus microorganisms. It achieved several objectives, including macro and micronutrient uptake, root development, and abiotic stress tolerance. Our product was achieving more objectives that growers required to drive plant performance. That is how we developed a name for ourselves, by creating biostimulants that worked and achieved visible results,” Adam says.
Adam explains that growers most obviously notice the significant root development in the propagation stage. “That is visually one of the first things they will notice. Yet that is not all: increased root mass, increased yield, and better plant health. It’s not uncommon for growers to experience an increase in flower quality with increased cannabinoids or terpenes. That is not a direct effect of the microorganisms, yet it’s the result of having a healthier, more robust rhizosphere.”
Having a high-quality product is of great importance in the current competitive cannabis industry. “Quality in equals quality out,” DeRosa asserts. As cannabis becomes more constrained in terms of prices, growers need to remain as efficient as possible. We’re always keeping that in mind. Cannabis growers need biostimulants that are going to work in their favor.”
Adam says that many growers are surprised that the Impello products can be mixed with conventional nutrients. “There’s a bit of a debate about microorganisms and their ability to survive in high salt concentrations. Because of the microorganisms we use, that is not an issue, which makes things much easier for growers and reduces labor. Regardless of your setup, the microorganisms won’t die and will get to the rootzone,” Adam adds.