Exciting new additive – Biochar

Osflo Fertiliser is hugely excited to be able to introduce a new addition to the additives we supply. A big welcome to our new product, Biochar!

The team at Osflo Fertiliser are keen to start working with the new product to prove some of the potential benefits it may have across agricultural systems, plus it carries on the Osflo Fertiliser way of repurposing a product back into the production system… it is even BioGro certified!

But Biochar is so new, and there are so many questions out there… the biggest question being…

What is Biochar?

Biochar is a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water. It is biomass that has gone through pyrolysis to produce a stable product high in Carbon (up to 80% Carbon), and can be produced from crop residue, manure, forestry residue and green waste. Osflo Fertiliser’s Biochar is sourced from timber.

It has been proven to have a multitude of benefits both agronomically and environmentally and is considered a potential solution to improving soil fertility and structure in the long term. It could be a solution for climate change as it not only returns carbon to the soil, but also reduces GHG emissions from soil. Studies have found Biochar in soil that has been dated back over 1000 years.

Due to the size and nature of the product, Biochar cannot be applied by a conventional fertiliser or bike spreader, it instead requires an ‘Osflo Fertiliser’ type spreader, and would be an ideal product to blend with Osflo Fertiliser, especially given the long list of potential benefits offered by Biochar application to agricultural land.

“Application of biochar in soil can boost sequestration of SOC [soil organic carbon] as well as increase fertilizer efficiency, enhance productive capacity, and advance global food security. At the same time, these practices support a range of ecosystem services such as reduced soil erosion and contamination of off-site water sources, and increased species diversity and ecosystem health”

Hussain et al., 2017, Biochar for crop production: potential benefits and risks in The Journal of Soil Sediments.

Potential Agricultural benefits – very exciting!

There are numerous potential benefits of biochar in agricultural systems – hence why we are so excited about it!

  • 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

For more information on Biochar and how you can begin incorporating it into your Osflo Fertiliser blends, give us a call and we can have a chat!

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