Our Biochar Basics series will go into detail how biochar works and can be used most effectively to deliver benefits in:
The articles will be posted every two weeks, so stay tuned! This series is the start of our effort to build a resource hub for biochar, highlighting research, insights and practical advice to propel the wide-scale adoption of biochar in agriculture.
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Biochar is a nutrient and carbon-rich soil additive made from plants. Using biochar in your manure management can help improve your organic fertilisers, enhancing its available nutrient content and reducing both greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. By acting as a semi-biological fertiliser, biochar improves soil biological processes, helping both nutrient cycling and nutrient retention in the soil. In turn, this contributes to improved overall soil health and better crop productivity.
Biochar must be tailored to different use cases to maximise its on-farm benefits. These include:
Livestock Bedding: A thin layer of biochar in livestock bedding acts as an absorbent and desiccant. It slows the moisture accumulation and helps reduce bacteria in bedding, while decreasing ammonia emissions.
Organic Fertiliser: Biochar in organic fertiliser improves composting and nutrient retention. It also reduces ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions and leaching from stored manure.
Soil Amendment: Once biochar is added to soil either directly or in manure, it acts as a semi-biological fertiliser, increasing good soil microbes. Its porous structure improves soil water properties and nutrient availability, making crops more resistant to climate stressors.