In their study in Honduras, the authors carefully mixed rice hull char (made in a TLUD stove) with cassava chips and foliage and fed that to cattle, while doing a careful control, and measuring the health of the cattle as well as their methane emissions. The results are encouraging.

Twelve local “Yellow” cattle with initial live weight ranging from 80 to 100 kg were assigned in a completely randomized block design to a 2*2 factorial arrangement of four treatments with three replications. The factors were: biochar at 0.6% of diet DM or none; and potassium nitrate at 6% of diet DM or urea at 1.83% of diet DM. The basal diet was cassava root chips fed ad libitum and fresh cassava foliage at 1% of LW (DM basis). Sodium sulphate and sodium chloride were added to the diet at the rate of 0.4% and 0.5% in the DM. The trial lasted 98 days following a 21 day adaptation to the diets.


Sustainable Technology: Biochar
Julie Major, Workshop presented to Sustainable Harvest International,Honduras, January 2008

Reported in La Cosecha (The Harvest), Sustainable Harvest International newsletter, Spring 2008, p. 4.

Black is the New Green: SHI Field Staff Learn the Benefits of Biochar for Agriculture

During the annual Board and staff meeting held in January in Honduras, field staff from Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize and Panama attended a workshop presented by Julie Major of Cornell University on managing soils with biochar. Biochar can be made simply and cheaply from any organic material, just by piling it, covering it up with soil to exclude air and setting it on fire. During the workshop biochar was made from rice hulls and pieces of pine wood for demonstration, but any crop residue or plant waste can be used to make biochar, such as coffee pulp, sawdust, sugarcane bagasse, etc.

Sustainable Harvest International

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