OSFLO BIOCHAR TRIAL PROGRAMME
As we discussed in our previous article on our new addition, Biochar, there are numerous agricultural benefits of this age-old additive, so we wanted to carry out some of our own research to validate these benefits in the Taranaki region.
As a sustainable fertiliser company that has a large focus on soil health, biochar is like black gold to Osflo, with research showing that its benefits on soil health are a list a mile long:
- Improves soil water holding capacity
- Increases organic matter
- Reduces soil bulk density
- Increases cation exchange capacity (CEC – the ability to hold onto and transfer nutrient cations: ammonium, calcium, magnesium and potassium)
- Increases soil pH
- Reduces leaching of nutrients & chemicals
- Stores carbon in a long-term stable sink
- Helps plants resist diseases and pathogens
- Suppresses ammonia, methane, and nitrous oxide emission
- Supports soil microbial life and biodiversity
- Increases mycorrhizal fungi
We decided that we would focus on three key areas of research that we believe are most relevant and that would be capable of having an impact on Taranaki soils and farming, so we will be conducting three trials across the region, with some planned to span across multiple years.
Firstly we will be looking at an application of biochar on pasture over a multiyear period and taking soil tests to see the effect on organic matter, cation exchange capacity, and soil bulk density. Secondly, we will do another multiyear application with a focus on soil microbes and the effect of biochar on their populations using the Soil Foodweb tests. Our third biochar trial has seen biochar applied under a maize crop alongside Osflo to assess whether biochar additions can result in increased crop yield.
The team at Osflo are really excited about this new trials program, and we are keen to start gathering results of biochar’s effect on soil, microbes and yield, so keep a lookout for updates on our website and Facebook page!