Farm

Full Ears of Corn by July 4
Healthy Roots - Corn July
Good healthy growth Mid June
Adapted No-tiill setup for applying biological amendments

Farmer J.R. Bollinger has been seeing remarkable results with his no-till corn this year in the Mississippi valley near Cape Giradeaux, Missouri. As you can see from the pictures he had lush, green 6 foot corn in mid June, and full ears of corn by the fourth of July. As you can see by the root growth and green leaves, these are healthy plants and have ready access to the nutrition they need to grow and develop fruit.

Mr. Bollinger built a custom pre-tillage rig on his no-till tractor toolbar that allows him to add both wet and dry amendments as he is pre-tilling his field. Allowing him to create stripes of ground that already contain a blend of biochar, beneficial microbes, mycorrhizae, minerals and other biological amendments. Next he precision seeded the corn into the amended strips. The seedlings were directly in contact with beneficial amendments with a minimum of passes (compaction of the field) and grew vigorously and quickly. This type of system allows farmers to amend fields efficiently and use long term soil amendments like biochar and mineral amendments in a cost-effective way. In this way, he's adding carbon, micro-nutrients, and minerals to the field, and by thinking of amending a series of strips over a number of years, can improve the long term health of his soil, while growing a healthy crop for market.

For more detail see http://www.terra-char.com/blog/biological-agriculture-works

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Announcing an exciting new biochar learning opportunity
More info and registration coming soon!

  • 5 days of learning and experimentation at Swallow Valley Farm in Sonoma County, California
  • Produced by Wilson Biochar Associates, New England Biochar, LLC and Biocarbon Associates
  • Co-sponsored by US Biochar Initiative, Sonoma Biochar Initiative, Southern California Biochar Initiative and others TBA

Sign up at: http://biocharschool.brownpapertickets.com/
- See more at: http://greenyourhead.typepad.com/biochar_school/#sthash.SQoSrFGa.dpuf

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Super Vegetable Garden field Application
Por Natura Pyrolizer
Pro Natura Village Workshops

Pro-Natura has been working in the Ivory Coast with farmers on the edges of the natural parks there to discover ways of helping the farmers cultivate food for local markets and for their families and provide incentives for increased biodiversity.

In the areas where they work, old cocoa and coffee plantations are often not renewed because of of the threats of disease and soil exhaustion. Additionally, full sun cocoa varieties encourage cutting down all of the trees which suppresses biodiversity. (Biodiversity is important to maintaining the health of native species, but it's also important to maintain disease resistance in the crops that these families' lives depend on).

Biochar applied to the topsoil of the trees at the rate of 1kg per square meter have increased crop yields by 50% to 200%. Trials have also shown that trees grown in 5 - 10% biochar soils are more disease resistant, specifically to phytophthora, a family of pathogens that includes Monilia or black pod. Black pod has devastated whole swathes of cocoa growing regions, which has spurred the abandoning of older cocoa plantations.

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The Kon-Tiki was developed by Hans-Peter Schmidt in Switzerland with the Ithaka Institute> based on the MOKI Cone Kiln from Japan.

There is a nice description in the video of air currents around the cone kilns. The Ton Tiki and The Tasmanian version developed by Frank Strie called the Kon-Tiki-Tas. Are both large - vinyard scale cone kilns.

Information about smaller kilns and backyard scale variations can be found at: http://backyardbiochar.net/

From Living Web Farms in Mills River, North Carolina
http://www.livingwebfarms.org/

Great introduction to making clean biochar lead by Bob Wells, soil scientist Jon Nilsson and Patryk Battle.

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tractor-powered (PTO) spray equipment with water tank
root-injection sonde

We tried several different methods, but ended-up having to develop our own equipment and techniques. A couple of these methods show promise for commercial-scale work, I believe. Basically our approach involves a few components:

  • tractor-powered (PTO) spray equipment with water tank, pressure adjustments
  • root-injection sonde (available commercially, but we ended-up making our own)
  • slurry tank with a Venturi pump, mixing equipment
  • various hoses and connections
  • a lot of trial and error…

A lot of the success of this type of method is related to the choice of biochar and the formulation of the slurry. We’re continuing work this summer to try to improve these methods for larger scale commercial work, but are also evaluating, of course, whether the use of biochar applied in this manner will have any effect on the crop quantities or quality.

Barry Husk
President
BlueLeaf Inc. http://www.blue-leaf.ca

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The Soil Fertility Project is an interesting project that attempts to use biochar to address soil fertility and climate change both in Wales in weed eradication projects.

In the Indian project ( http://www.soilfertilityproject.com/Soil_Fertility/Indian_Project.html). The participants started by using the Anila stove to product biochar, but found that it was unworkable. Now they are using a digestor to process wet waste, get some energy, and use the slurry for fertilizer. They are also using a small BiG Char unit to process green waste into biochar.

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From the Ithaka journal, "Biochar in poultry farming "
http://www.ithaka-journal.net/pflanzenkohle-in-der-geflugelhaltung?lang=en

This is a practical article that provides simple advice for using biochar to help manage disease in commercial poultry operations. The authors point out that many birds end up spending time in direct contact with their manure and suggest blending 5-10% by volume biochar into the bedding or silage used to in the coops and poultry houses can help the birds resist diseases in addition to helping filter the ammonia and reducing the impacts of the bird wastes.

The primary article also gives specific recommendations for using biochar in feed to help prevent intestinal diseases, and they recommend the following studies:

David Yarrow, Four Oaks Farm

sunday we conducted our 18th test burn with our TLUD biochar burn barrel.
this time brad mostly loaded wood chips in the barrel.
this burn ran over 95 minutes, quietly, smoothly
and produced over 15 gallons of solid, dense biochar,

for more details see: http://www.dyarrow.org/18thBurn/

monday brad did two more wood chip burns.
the first ran 90 minutes.
the second ran over 2 hours.
we like burning wood chips!!

REMINDER:
this weekend is our first biochar workshop at four oaks farm.
saturday at 10am, sunday at 1pm, and monday at 6pm

http://www.dyarrow.org/biochar/

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Sornam Alagarsamy

we at Dr MGr Jatropha Biodiesel Project are now engajed in Jatropha oil manufacture
and also we plant bamboosa Vulgaris Bamboo
we have plans to convert all the Bamboo to Charcoal and supply to the world

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