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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BLENDED BIOCHARS DESIGNED TO IMPROVED PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SANDY COASTAL SOILS

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop and test blended biochars using multiple pyrolyzed feedstock designed as supplements to improve physical and chemical deficiencies in Coastal Plain soils.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Biochars will be made from different feedstocks using thermal pyrolysis conditions to produce a biochar blend that can be used as a soil supplement. The blended biochar will be designed to improve the soil water storage capacity, form aggregates, reduce soil strength, and increase fertility. We will experiment with diverse relevant feedstocks that will be blended with pine chip biochar and analyzed in the laboratory to determine optimum blends and blend ratios. From these results, large scale production of blended biochar will be produced for field plot applications and specific soil physical & chemical properties will be measured.


3.Progress Report

This project is related to inhouse objective 1: Develop specifically designed biochar or biochar mixtures that amend sandy SE coastal soils to increase aggregation, improve nutrient retention, sequester organic carbon, improve microbial characteristics, and decrease overall soil strength.

Samples from plots initially treated with pine wood chip biochar were tested for treatment effectiveness of water holding capacities and fertility. These results led to additional pine biochar amendment to increase its effect on soil physical and chemical properties.

Progress was monitored by informal visits at either the Farm Center to collect data or to the ARS Center to analyze data, emails, and phone calls.


Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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