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A Brief History of Agricultural Time

Our farming for over 10,000 years has been responsible for 2/3rds of our excess greenhouse gases. This soil carbon, converted to carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide began a slow stable warming that now accelerates with burning of fossil fuel. The unintended consequence has been the flowering of our civilization. Our science has now realized the consequences and developed a more encompassing wisdom.

Modern Agriculture has evolved in the ability to remove the limitations to plant growth, from burning forest for ash fertilizers, to bison bones, to Guano islands, then in 1913, to crafty Germans figuring out how to suck nitrogen from the air to now with natural gas derived fertilizers. These chemical fertilizers have over come nutrient limits to growth for 100 years.

NPK and the "Green Revolution" in genetics have brought us to where we are, all made possible by basically mining soil carbon stocks. So we have now hit a carbon limit in two distinct ways. The first is continued loss of soil carbon content, the second is fossil carbon energy cost. The present farming system spends ten cents of fossil energy delivering one cent of food energy.

We can not go back, but we can go forward with our newly acquired wisdom. Wise land management, Conservation Agriculture and afforestation can build back our soil carbon, Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, living biomass & Glomalins ( http://www.ars.usda.gov/... ) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.

We can rectify the carbon cycle, and beyond that, biochar systems serve the same healing function for the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles, toxicity in soils and sediments and as a feed additive cut the carbon foot print of livestock by 50%.

The Paleoclimate Record shows agricultural-geo-engineering is responsible for most of our excess greenhouse gases.  The unintended consequence, the flowering of our civilization. Our science has now realized these consequences and has developed a more encompassing wisdom.  Wise land management,  afforestation and  the thermal conversion of biomass can build back our soil carbon.  Pyrolysis, Gasification  and Hydro-Thermal Carbonization are known biofuel technologies,  What is new are the concomitant benefits of biochars for Soil Carbon Sequestration; building soil biodiversity & nitrogen efficiency, for in situ remediation of toxic agents, and, as a feed supplement cutting the carbon foot print of livestock.  Modern systems are closed-loop with no significant emissions. The general life cycle analysis is: every 1 ton of biomass yields 1/3 ton Biochar equal to 1 ton CO2e, plus biofuels equal to 1MWh exported electricity, so each energy cycle is 1/3 carbon negative.  [1] [2] [3]

Beyond Rectifying the Carbon Cycle;
Biochar systems Integrate nutrient management, serving the same healing function for the Nitrogen and Phosphorous Cycles.  A 50% reduction of NH3 loss when composting.  Ag manure char absorbs phosphorus for nutrient credit income, CHP, Biomass Crop & energy grants and when carbon comes to account, another big credit. The compounding soil benefits; reduced nitrogen loss & soil Nitrous-oxide
emissions and a 17% increased water efficiency are documented in trials across soil types and climates.  The production of ammonia and char from biomass and other third generation companies aiming for drop-in fuels, can free agriculture from fossil energy. [4]  [5]

The Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards are the royal road for the GHG Mitigation; This stakeholder effort with the USDA & EPA, Reviewed by both Congressional Ag Committees, who asked for expansion to ISO status, the goal now is to get the world on the same soil carbon page. [6]

Economic at all Scales;
Local economic stimulus is at all scales of development, from the Global Clean Cook Stove Initiative, to base load manure systems, to industrial biomass power production. Replacing "Three Stone" stoves with biomass stoves, the health effects equal the eradication of Malaria & AIDs combined. Delivering carbon credits to developing countries would further economic stimulus. [7]
Given the lack of leadership in pricing carbon, companies are taking charge.  WalMart is sourcing local produce, training small farmers and presenting bold leadership with their Sustainability Index Program.  Vendors now must supply full cradle-to-cradle life cycle analysis. They are now crunching that data to formulate true carbon footprint labeling, empowering consumer choice.

The Major Endorsements include:
Dr. Jim Hansen, Dr. James Lovelock,
Nobel laureates;  Al Gore and Dr. Mario Molina,
Politicians; Tony Blair, Tony Abbott, Secretaries Salazar & Vilsack,
Environmentalist; Tim Flannery, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson & his Carbon War Room.

The photosynthetic "capture" collectors are up and running all around us, the "storage" sink is in operation just under our feet, conversion reactor are the only infrastructure we need to build out. Carbon, as the center of life, has high value to recapitalize our soils. Yielding nutrient dense foods and Biofuels,  Paying Premiums of pollution abatement and toxic remediation and the growing Dividend created by the increasing biomass of a thriving soil community.

Since we have filled the air , filling the seas to full, soil is the only beneficial place left.
Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.

Thank you for your efforts.

[5] Update;
A truly ground building announcement from CoolPlanet Biofuels
;
Supported by BP, GE, Google & Conoco, a pyrolitic/catalytic system delivering high surface area Biochar and 3000 gallons of tank ready fuel per acre. (from 25 Ton/ac Miscanthus grass) at $1.20/Gal.
President Mike Cheiky presenting to a Google audience his company's plans for "Negative-Carbon" biofuels, soil improvement, and poverty reduction.
http://www.youtube.com/...
Leo Manzer, A DuPont Fellow, is on the Technical Advisory Board

Is it fossil fuel ?...or is it biofuel? ... only your radiocarbon
isotope tester knows for sure....

Wee-Beastie Real estate at Land Rush Prices;
The farm scale reactors are producing a high surface area biochar, 600 sq
meters / gram, Or, One ton of  has a surface area of 148,000 Acres!!
Now for conversion fun: 148,000 Acres is equal to 230 square miles!!
Rockingham Co. VA. , where I live, is only 851 Sq. miles,
Now at the middle of research application rates of 1 lb/sq ft  or 20
tons/acre, this yields 4,600 Sq miles of surface area per Acre.  VA is
39,594 Sq miles. An eighth of Virginia in every acre.
What  this suggest to me is a potential of sequestering virgin forest
amounts of carbon just in the soil alone, without counting the forest on
top.

[1]
The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands of Years Ago http://www.springerlink.com/...

The Columbian encounter led to terrestrial biospheric carbon sequestration on the order of 2 to 5 GtC Climate Forcing.
The Columbian Encounter and the Little Ice Age: Abrupt Land Use Change, Fire, and Greenhouse Forcing - Annals of the Association of American Geographers
http://www.informaworld.com/...

[2]
FAO on Conservation Agricultural:
"In general, soil carbon sequestration during the first decade of adoption of best conservation agricultural practices is 1.8 tons CO2 per hectare per year. On 5 billion hectares of agricultural land, this could represent one-third of the current annual global emission of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels (i.e., 27 Pg CO2 per year)."   http://www.fao.org/...

 Adding  just 1 Ton of Biochar per hectare, (800 lbs / acre), would cover 100% Current Annual Fossil CO2 Emissions.

"Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potential of Agricultural Land Management in the United States: A Synthesis of the Literature"
An extensive scientific literature review providing a side-by-side comparison of the biophysical greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of more than 40 agricultural land management activities in the United States.
http://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/...

[3]
Dr. Mario Molina, PNAS Report on Reducing abrupt climate change;
http://www.pnas.org/...
Recent NATURE STUDY;
Sustainable Biochar to Mitigate Global Climate Change
http://www.nature.com/...
The future of biochar - Project Rainbow Bee Eater
http://www.sciencealert.com.au/...
USDA, looking at heavy metals; ARS Research Turns Poultry Waste into Toxin-grabbing Char
http://www.ars.usda.gov/...
The in situ remediation of a vast variety of toxic agents in soils and sediments.
Biochar Sorption of Contaminants;
http://www.biorenew.iastate.edu/...

[4]
Both the Organic and Agricultural chemical schools of soil science recognize Biochar as a powerful tool to foster biodiversity and nitrogen efficiency in soils.

Recent work by C. Steiner, at U of GA, showing a 52% reduction of NH3 loss when char is used as a composting accelerator. This will have profound value added consequences for the commercial composting industry by reduction of their GHG emissions and the sale of compost as an organic nitrogen fertilizer. http://www.ibi2010.org/...

Biochar effects on soil biota – A review
Soil Biology and Biochemistry journal, a review of international work by Lehmann & Janice Thies; http://www.biochar-international.org/...
The NC Farm Center has large scale field application trials encompassing 16 acres on two farms in southeastern North Carolina.
http://www.biochar-international.org/...

Virginia Tech is in their 6 th year of field trials with the Carbon Char Group's "CharGrow" formulated bagged product.
 http://www.carbonchar.com/...

[5]
The production of fossil fuel free ammonia & char from biomass (SynGest, http://www.syngest.com/ )
Many third generation companies are aiming for Drop-in, or fungible fuels. A leader in this sector, supported by GE, Google & Conoco  is CoolPlanet Biofuels
http://www.coolplanetbiofuels.com/
Farm Fossil Fuel 7% Solution;
Their results also suggest that it could take anywhere from 50 to 70 acres for a farmer with 1,000 acres and an onsite crusher and biodiesel facility to grow enough canola to produce the fuel needed to run on-farm operations.
http://www.physorg.com/...

[6]
The Ag Soil Carbon Standard
The Ag Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards; approved by the USDA & EPA. Reviewed by both Congressional Ag Committees, who have asked for expansion of this Soil Carbon Standard to ISO status, the application was denied under the USDA ISO Guide 65 Program, it is now in rewrite for resubmission. I savor the idea that the whole world could be on the same soil carbon page and get farmers payed for their good soil-C works.
Read over the work so far;
http://www.novecta.com/...

Biochar can even accelerate Dr. Hansen's new plan for 100 GtC of afforestation,  through utilizing this substantial new addition to today's land-based NPP of about  60 GtC/yr and  Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, (living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.
"The Case for Young People and Nature: A Path to a Healthy, Natural, Prosperous Future".
 http://www.columbia.edu/...

Remote Sensing;
NASA’s EO-1 hyperspectral imagery data has been used to discern Amazonian black earth, or Terra Preta soils.  The full complement of earth sensing satellites, using multiple proxy measurements of soil moisture to 3 feet depth,  temperature & density , even reading GHG emissions, Dead & Alive biomass from the tree tops down at 1 hectare resolutions when the Orbital Carbon Observer 2 is aloft in 2013.
NASA’s Space Archaeology; $364K Terra Preta Program
http://archaeologyexcavations.blogspot.com/...
Sowing Seeds With New Agricultural Carbon Accounting Tool Carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural activity in the United States can now be tracked with unprecedented resolution because of a method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory team led by Tristram West.  
http://www.sciencedaily.com/...                                                                                  
The Rapid Assessment of Carbon Project, Providing a Baseline Soil Carbon Survey is 60% complete
NRCS Soils Website: http://soils.usda.gov/

Soils Saves Seas, The new trump card in climate change will be ocean acidity, the new science now shows a simple direct linear relationship between the CO2 levels & acidity, building soil Carbon is the simple solution.

[7]
Hillary Makes a big Announcement with The Global Stove Initiative;
State Dept. Release;
100 million clean-burning stoves in kitchens around the world.
http://www.state.gov/...

Biochar Work in Nine Developing Countries:

http://www.biochar-international.org/...

World Bank Study: The survey data from 150 biochar projects located in 38 developing countries is available now on the IBI website at: http://www.biochar-international.org/....

The IBI now has 33 biochar affiliates around the world -- including in China, India, Japan UK, US,  Australia, Korea, Canada, Italy and Israel.
Note also that our Japanese colleagues in the Japan Biochar Association have a very long tradition of biochar use and have been developing "modern methods" over the last thirty years. A governmental act officially acknowledged charcoal as a "soil ameliorator" back in 1988 and have completed work using Biochar as an in situ sorbent of Cd, and starting work on heavy metal radio-isotopes.

PRO-NATURA INTERNATIONAL has the largest numbers of agroforestry soil-C & Biochar projects. Certainly the largest NGO, across the global south. They are very sensitive in both design and co-opting local social values for creating self perpetuated systems. Like the Exponential growth of biologic systems.  http://pronatura.org/...

The Biochar Fund
has doubled subsistence farmer's incomes;
Exceptional results from biochar experiment in Cameroon
The broad smiles of 1500 subsistence farmers say it all, that , and the size of the Biochar corn root balls
http://www.biochar-international.org/...

Bi-National Border Consortium Initiative,
Arturo Velez is developing this Agave-Derived Biofuels creation of a Bi-National Border Consortium to foster large-scale use of agave as an energy crop. Government agencies, private initiative, farmers/ranchers/foresters associations, academia/researchers, NGO and entrepreneurs are welcome to participate.  He has contacted Soll Sussman, Coordinator of the Border Energy Forum, as well as the National Coordinators of the Bor­der 2012 Binational Environmental Program.
The Western US States produce only ~0.3% of the total USA biomass production, but by planting 25 million hectares of agave on marginal dryland, these States could produce 1.6+ Billion tonnes of dry biomass every year, the same amount the whole US currently produces.
http://www.slideshare.net/...

Cocao growers in Belize; http://www.carbongold.com/

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Comment Preferences

  •  Introduction needed. (7+ / 0-)

    Lots of good information and ideas in this diary, but difficult to put them in context. I respectfully suggest an introductory paragraph that summarizes; provides a conceptual structure into which to fit all the info. What do you want to happen? New EPA regs? New USDA regs? Voluntary adoption of new practices by Big Agribusiness? Readers to join an advocacy group? Etc.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 09:59:28 AM PDT

    •  agreed! nt (4+ / 0-)

      In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

      by vcmvo2 on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:13:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Closing the Loop (9+ / 0-)

      Our agriculture and energy cycles are not sustainable. They are open-loop. We take out carbon from the soil, fossils and water, and then release it into our paper-thin atmosphere.  If we do not close the loop, by placing that carbon back into the soil to prevent its release into the atmosphere,  we will hit the proverbial wall sooner rather than later, within the next 25 to 50 years at current consumption.

      If the methane pools in the deep oceans and the unrotted plant material (stored carbon) permafrosts release due to excess carbon in the atmosphere, game over. We are cooked. Goodbye Earth climate, hello Venus climate.

      The ONLY way to keep the planet cool enough after 50 years from today is to stop releasing carbon into the atmosphere. We need to capture it back out of the atmosphere by growing massive quantities trees and plants, then keeping their captured carbon out of the atmosphere by charring, burying, covering, "sequestering" the carbon. We can, over time, reduce the atmospheric carbon we have put there largely in the last 100 years.

      It is not too late, but soon it will be.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:16:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fascinating diary: Thanks. (6+ / 0-)

    Writing style difficulty understanding.
    I tried a little experiment with biochar year before last, took a portion of my weeds and branches and made a small fire adjacent to a larger brush/wood pile I had covered with dirt.
    The smolder found a small path into the larger pile, and it burned for over a week, smoldering. At the later stages it started collapsing and there was a large void of orange coals, extremely hot. I tossed more dirt on to slow the burn. It finished mostly as charcoal, and I put a compost pile on top, mixing charcoal into the compost. It's excellent stuff. I assume I had a net carbon gain in that experiment.

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:11:04 AM PDT

  •  But the Acceleration of Atmospheric Carbon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    and climate change are recent. It doesn't matter if, historically, agriculture dominates, because the problem clearly only began to seriously accelerate after we introduced fossil carbon.

    All this is a great idea but what's the fraction, today, of nonfossil carbon going into the air that these methods would address?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:46:00 AM PDT

    •  about half (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cynndara

      of the CO2 going to the atmosphere is coming from Ag.  Govts world-wide need to direct all of their military funds to C-sequestration research if we are to have any chance in the future.  Doesn't look good.

    •  Reading some of the links (0+ / 0-)

      it appears that combined biochar as sequestration and alternative energy is quite viable as a long-term carbon control mechanism.  In particular, the Australian group Project Rainbow Bee Eater is estimating that the combined effects of utilizing existing biowaste to replace fossil fuels, sequestration of charcoal in farmlands, and reduction in energy consumption for fertilizer production (biochar increases nutrient availability and reduces the need for fertilizers) is close to sufficient to cover Australia's entire commitment to greenhouse gas reduction under the most recent protocols.  And let's face it, on the American side the PTBs are much more likely to accept a strategy that cleans up the crap they keep throwing in the air and buries it in flyover country, than to quit throwing crap into the air.  Especially if they can con the farmers into paying for it.

  •  Seems like important stuff. Needs an Intro (5+ / 0-)

    for the layperson though, unless it's that I'm particularly dense.

    You've obviously been thinking about this a lot for a while, and though I've heard of "biochar," for instance, I'm not sure what that is in pure "flesh-and-blood, pick it up, smell it, see it..." terms.

    I'll come back to this later, hoping there's an intro to the topic, a theme stated at the beginning, etc.

    Thank you though, for the considerable effort you've already put into this. Now if only I could follow it all!


    Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

    by Jim P on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 10:55:39 AM PDT

  •  Way too much information for a single sitting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Thanks.   Beautiful diary.   I will have to read it a couple more times when I have more time.  

    This is my marker comment.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 11:24:27 AM PDT

  •  Yes please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    a little intro, because the substance is rec-worthy but needs a little frame.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 11:41:00 AM PDT

  •  Among the myths ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Farmer Labor, brasilaaron, cynndara

    ...concerning the original people of the Americas is that they didn't manage their environment.  The Amazon which has been deemed unfavorable to agriculture due the laterite soil of the area and therefore could not support large populations.  However, recent evidence shows that the native people used biochar (and crushed pottery) extensively for 1000's of years and maintained high soil productivity.  The logs of Pizzaro's  men who floated the Amazon (after they slaughtered Incas) recorded large settlements and large populations all along the river – not possible without extensive agriculture and fertile soil.

    "if you don't make peaceful revolution possible, you make violent revolution inevitable." ….JFK. .......{- 8.25 / -5.64}

    by carver on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 12:36:20 PM PDT

    •  satelite imagery (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      carver

      is revealing extensive road networks under the forest canopy.  Estimates show that pre-Hispanic Amazonian population was as high as today, only much less concentrated.  The Terra Preta do Indio is possibly a way to salvage agriculture in the Amazon, and across the tropics of the globe, but would require a massive re-dedication to agricultural labor.

  •  I've wanted to play with biochar for a while, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    but what's missing is a simple "how to:"

    1) How much per square foot? How to till it in - into the top x inches? As an x inch layer y inches down? What size pieces? etc.

    2) Some simple designs for homebrew small scale pyrolysis devices. Instructions for same, what are decent feedstocks and what aren't, etc.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 12:57:29 PM PDT

    •  the literature says (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      5 - 15 metric tons per hectare, or up to 7 US tons per acre.  The feedstock is also an important consideration, as wood has a higher charcoal value than herbs.
      One way that i've seen suggested is to dig a row, 6 inches deep, fill it in, cover it, and then plant to the side of it. That way roots will arrive to the char laterally from both sides.
      It is possible for biochar to elevate the soil pH above what certain plants prefer.  Try to keep your soil at pH 6.5

    •  Home Made, Low Tech, Clean Biochar; (0+ / 0-)

      One of the best home made TLUD (Top Lit Up-Draft) stove designs to make biochar. TLUDs control air flow so must have porous/loose/dry feedstock, the primary air must travel through. They burn like a match, the flame protects the wood from oxygen combustion to ash as the hydro-carbon gas burns and the char remains;
      JRO; TLUD / Retort hybrid;
      http://www.youtube.com/...

      The simplest can-in-can retort;
      http://holon.se/...

      •  Umm, Erichj . . . (0+ / 0-)

        that second link is dead.  And the error message is in a Scandinavian language.  I'm afraid you're dealing with Americans here; very few of us are linguistically competent outside of English or maybe Spanish.

  •  bio char (0+ / 0-)

    needs to be researched with much more vigor.  We need to have a much more complete understanding of what happens when biochar is used as a soil supplement.  Sometimes adding biochar increases soils respiration (CO2 release), sometimes it reduces soil respiration, sometimes no change.  Sometimes it enhances CEC and nutrient retention other times it sucks up all the N.  The problem is that there is no "uniformity" in the applications, and certainly very few researchers are applying bio-char withe full suite of components that the Amazonians did.

    •  Could you provide (0+ / 0-)

      some backlinks to this, since everything I've read so far is overwhelmingly positive (not surprising since the boosters of an idea aren't going to go into the drawbacks).  Some of the variability may be linked to its effects on soil fungi, which appear to be the really important players in the game.  So more precise information on what makes the fungi happy could be the key.

      •  mostly (0+ / 0-)

        the variability is attributed to how the bio-char is made.  Some use more O2, some less.  Some cook it hot, some cook it cool.  All these differences in preparation make a difference in how the C pyrolizes, and what type of aromatic ring it makes, which is what determines whether it is bio-available or not.  Essentially, if you don't truly pyrolize the C, you've just added toasted carbon, which microbes can readily use in metabolism and therefore soil respiration will increase.  If it is pyrolized completely, then the C will be locked away in a non-bio-available form which microbes can't eat and no increase in soil respiration.
        Johannes Lehmann is one of the leading researchers on bio-char and Terra Preta.  Most scientific articles are locked away behind pay walls, but public universities or libraries often have access to them.

      •  Happy fungi Make Lots of Glomalin (0+ / 0-)

        Gary Jones at "Muck & Mystery" talks about Glomalins in 2006. When I first read his brilliant blog I started briefing him on biochars, he has been very encouraging.
        http://www.garyjones.org/...

        See in my links above;
        Biochar effects on soil biota – A review

        Mycorrhizal responses to biochar in soil – concepts
        and mechanisms
        Daniel D. Warnock & Johannes Lehmann &
        Thomas W. Kuyper & Matthias C. Rillig
        http://www.css.cornell.edu/...

         Proliferation of Microorganisms in Compost by Addition of Bamboo Charcoals (Shuji Yoshizawa, Michio Ohata, Satoko Tanaka)

        SEM photograph of microorganism in bamboo charcoal.
        In Japan, charcoal and compost of biomass waste have been used for a long time as soil improvers in farms. Wood and bamboo charcoals have pores of several microns or several ten microns which are suitable for microorganisms grown for composting the biomass waste.
          It was observed as shown in the photograph (left) taken by scanning electron micrograph (SEM) technique that the microorganisms proliferated on the charcoal powder and in the pores of the charcoal.
        http://acer.meisei-u.ac.jp/...

        The 1996 Japanese paper that I don't think has been cited on the Biochar list: Microbial Fertilizers in Japan. It contained quite a bit on charcoal (no use of the term "biochar" - so this wouldn't likely show up in most google searches), and some interesting synergistic results from pot trials. It proved again to me that we need to be in better communication about biochar with the Japanese for Much of the paper is on AMF -arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
        http://www.agnet.org/...


        STORY OF PHOSPHORUS

        On its own P does not bind very well to char surfaces, if at all. These are extremely important questions that I do not have the answer to, and this is exactly why we need to start soon to start this type of research. This could potentially fall under the umbrella of the type of research that could be done by a Biochar Research Centre, but more likely it would simply fall under normal "soil science" research departments... (possibly with Biochar thrown in as part of the mix of technologies that might help with finding ways to enhance biological processes that convert surface adsorbed p and complex organic p to soluble forms in a timely way when the plants need it

        "P is only weakly bound (or not at all) to char. But when there is a developed (arbuscular mycorrhyzal) fungal growth in and around the char surfaces, the P will stitch to the char-fungal complex, and will thus stay in the soil complex for longer periods of time, and can then be delivered to plants as they 'buy' it with sugar." "Probably most of the action of making P available to the plants is done by the mycorrhiza fungi."
          - Folke G.

        http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/...

        Holon:
        This is the pictorial part of the description of an easy charring method.
        http://www.holon.se/...

  •  There's some good stuff on YouTube for the (0+ / 0-)

    home gardener type, such as ne guy who says 30 pounds for 30 to 40 square feet which is between 3/4 and one pound per square foot.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 05:54:44 PM PDT

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