Using Biochar in your Soil.

Biochar as a soil amendment works best when it is blended with compost (a source of nutrients) and allowed to rest a bit before being worked into the soil. That allows the biochar to absorb nutrients from the compost, and in the aging both the compost and the biochar improve and it's the combination that provides maximum benefit to the soil.

Introduction to Biochar and Bio-Remediation from CharBiological

Specific soil recipes will vary a bit, a lot depends on your initial conditions. But plot tests and trials indicate that it's a good idea to start with a mix of 5% - 10% biochar to compost, and then apply the compost as you normally would to soils. You can find out more on our Compost Toolbox page.

If you are adding biochar for carbon sequestration, make sure that the darker biochar enhanced earths are covered by at least one inch of top soil.

This is a good reference for those of us that don't know our Soil Types (with photos).

Biochar in the Soil

Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Use
Krishniworld, The Pulse of Indian Agriculture

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BBC: The Secret of El Dorado
December 19, 2006

In 1542, the Spanish Conquistador, Francisco de Orellana ventured along the Rio Negro, one of the Amazon Basin's great rivers. Hunting a hidden city of gold, his expedition found a network of farms, villages and even huge walled cities. At least that is what he told an eager audience on his return to Spain.

"No one ever saw again what Orellana described"
Dr James Petersen, University of Vermont
The prospect of gold drew others to explore the region, but none could find the people of whom the first Conquistadors had spoken. The missionaries who followed a century later reported finding just isolated tribes of hunter-gatherers. Orellana's story seemed to be no more than a fanciful myth.

A proven liar?

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Terra Preta
Philip Coppens

In the depths of the Amazonian basin, a specific type of soil is found that is known to be of human origin

The Effect of Charcoal from Recycled Japanese Cedar Waste on the Elimination of Organic Matter in
Agricultural Land Drainage

Laboratory of Water Environment Conservation, Department of
Hydraulic Engineering, National Institute for Rural Engineering, Japan,
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Potential of Pyrolyzed Organic Matter in Soil Amelioration
Bruno Glaser, Johannes Lehmann, Christoph Steiner, Thomas Nehls,
Muhammad Yousaf and Wolfgang Zech, 12th ISCO Conference Beijing 2002

Abstract:

Potential of Pyrolyzed Organic Matter in Soil Amelioration
Bruno Glaser, Johannes Lehmann, Christoph Steiner, Thomas Nehls,
Muhammad Yousaf and Wolfgang Zech, 12th ISCO Conference Beijing 2002

Abstract:

Potential of Pyrolyzed Organic Matter in Soil Amelioration
Bruno Glaser, Johannes Lehmann, Christoph Steiner, Thomas Nehls,
Muhammad Yousaf and Wolfgang Zech, 12th ISCO Conference Beijing 2002

Abstract:

Understanding the Soil Rhizosphere System
Food & Fertilizer Technology Center, 2006-12-01

Sustainable Management of the Soil Rhizosphere System

Methods for the sustainable management of the soil rhizosphere system for efficient crop production and fertilizer use clearly fall into three distinct ways and methods: a) cultural management/practices; b) efficient nutrient application/fertilizer management; and c) use of organic fertilizers and bio-fertilizers.

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Understanding the Soil Rhizosphere System
Food & Fertilizer Technology Center, 2006-12-01

Sustainable Management of the Soil Rhizosphere System

Methods for the sustainable management of the soil rhizosphere system for efficient crop production and fertilizer use clearly fall into three distinct ways and methods: a) cultural management/practices; b) efficient nutrient application/fertilizer management; and c) use of organic fertilizers and bio-fertilizers.

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Lawn and garden products become more organic
Marty Hair, Detroit Free Press in Fort Wayne New Sentinel, March 28, 2007

"Sales of organic fertilizers and growing media like potting soils are expected to rise from $360 million this year to $670 million by 2011, according to the consumer research firm Packaged Facts."

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Lawn and garden products become more organic
Marty Hair, Detroit Free Press in Fort Wayne New Sentinel, March 28, 2007

"Sales of organic fertilizers and growing media like potting soils are expected to rise from $360 million this year to $670 million by 2011, according to the consumer research firm Packaged Facts."

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Microbial Fertilizers in Japan
Michinori Nishio, National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences, Ibaraki, Japan
Food & Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC) for the Asian and Pacific Region

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Biogeochemical Processes Influencing Formation and Stabilization of Soil Organic Matter and Soil Structure
Douglas Karlen, Research Leader, Ames, IA 50011 USDA ARS, Soil and Water Quality Research

Project Number: 3625-11120-003-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 25, 2006
End Date: Apr 24, 2011

Objective:

Measuring soil compaction using a penetrometer (soil compaction tester)
Pennsylvania State University,Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Agronomy Facts 63, 2002

Soil compaction can easily reduce crop yields by 10 percent, and can lead to water and soil quality degradation due to increased runoff and soil structure destruction.

Penetrometer: A diagnostic tool to measure the extent and depth of subsurface compaction is a penetrometer, or soil compaction tester.

Measuring soil compaction using a penetrometer (soil compaction tester)
Pennsylvania State University,Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Agronomy Facts 63, 2002

Soil compaction can easily reduce crop yields by 10 percent, and can lead to water and soil quality degradation due to increased runoff and soil structure destruction.

Penetrometer: A diagnostic tool to measure the extent and depth of subsurface compaction is a penetrometer, or soil compaction tester.

Examples of Soil Improvement at EPRIDA
Doug Clayton, April 2007

IMG_7237IMG_7237

Click on photo for full view

I took the pictures when I visited Danny Day at Eprida last month.

Examples of Soil Improvement at EPRIDA
Doug Clayton, April 2007

IMG_7237IMG_7237

Click on photo for full view

I took the pictures when I visited Danny Day at Eprida last month.

Examples of Soil Improvement at EPRIDA
Doug Clayton, April 2007

IMG_7237IMG_7237

Click on photo for full view

I took the pictures when I visited Danny Day at Eprida last month.

Partially burned material a boon to plants: Sandy (Oregon) resident sees biochar as a way to fertilize and capture carbon
By Garth Guibord, The Gresham Outlook, Mar 30, 2007

When most people see a pile of sticks and wood, all they see is sticks and wood. Sandy resident Paul Elmore, 39, sees possibilities. He sees biochar

Secrets to Great Soil: A Grower's Guide to Composting, Mulching, and Creating Healthy, Fertile Soil for Your Garden and Lawn (Storey's Gardening Skills Illustrated)
Elizabeth P. Stell in tdc's Farmgate

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT THROUGH CORNSTOVER UTILIZATION
Location: Morris, Minnesota
Project Team REICOSKY, DONALD
USDA/ARS

Project Number: 3645-11000-003-02
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Mar 30, 2006
End Date: Mar 29, 2009

Objective:
Evaluate the recycling of soil char and bio oil carbon as a byproduct of pyrolysis and determine the effect of the N enriched char byproduct on soil microbial activity measured through CO2 evolution and plant response.

Approach:

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Use of Charcoal to Enhance Soil Quality in a Future Powered by Bioenergy
David A. Laird, USDA, ARS, National Soil Tilth Laboratory
Growing the Bioeconomy Conference 2005, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Potential of carbon sequestration by carbonizing wood residue from industrial tree plantation as a Clean Development Mechanism project in the Kyoto Mechanism
Okimori,Y.Takahashi,F. Ogawa,M. (KANSO) Yamanaka,T.(Kansai Electric Power) U of Georgia Presentation 2004

Processes: 
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Potential of carbon sequestration by carbonizing wood residue from industrial tree plantation as a Clean Development Mechanism project in the Kyoto Mechanism
Okimori,Y.Takahashi,F. Ogawa,M. (KANSO) Yamanaka,T.(Kansai Electric Power) U of Georgia Presentation 2004

Processes: 
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