July 6, 2023
With an increasing focus on climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices, many producers and commodity groups are seeking information on how they can lower the carbon footprint of their operations while building healthy soils and remaining economically viable.
One practice with great potential to reduce on-farm emissions and store carbon is through adding biochar.
Biochar is a charcoal-like byproduct of pyrolysis bioenergy systems that is increasingly emphasized as a sustainable soil amendment. When used in an agricultural setting, these amendments can provide long-term value without repeated application.
Biochar also provides environmental and economic benefits by decreasing nutrient loss from leaching, improving surface water quality and creating financial opportunities as a value-added co-product with bioenergy.
Despite the growing body of research on biochar and increasing interest, many contradictory and misleading recommendations persist. Realizing the benefits of biochar requires very site- and context-specific guidelines and recommendations.
Moreover, many landowners and forestry professionals have an interest in producing biochar, but they lack guidance on how to best produce biochar for the soils and applications near their wood resource.
An upcoming meeting on July 17 will address this need by facilitating networking opportunities for participants with a shared interest in biochar and providing research-grounded information on biochar application in row crops.
There is no cost to attend this event, and registration will close July 7.
Farmers, landowners, agricultural advisers and conservation professionals are invited to attend a morning of informational presentations, networking and field tours to learn about the biochar industry and its use in field crops from 9 a.m. to noon July 17, with registration starting at 8:30 a.m.
The event, Biochar in Michigan Agriculture, will take place at the Kellogg Biological Station, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, Mich. The morning will include an explanation of biochar basics and its use as a soil carbon amendment, the current economic feasibility of biochar production in Michigan, a tour of biochar research field plots, and networking opportunities among attendees and biochar industry professionals.
This event is presented and co-hosted by the Great Lake Biochar Network, the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research site at KBS, the Long-Term Ecological Research site at KBS and Michigan State University Extension. Funding support for this event was received from the Michigan Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.
Source: MSU Extension
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