Biochar could be answer for improving impaired soils, research indicates

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Biochar is a new-old substance that is coming under increased scrutiny at places like Iowa State University. ISU’s David Laird says biochar, which is basically charcoal, improves the water-holding and nutrient-holding capacity of the soil and could be effective in mitigating problem soils. Biochar currently is used only in horticulture, but an increase in manufacturing facilities and economies of scale could make it more practical for row crops. Laird spoke on the subject at ISU’s Integrated Crop Management Conference in Ames, Iowa.

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Erich J. Knight (not verified)
on Dec 10, 2012

Alot more is happening with Biochar;
My presentation at the fourth USBI Biochar Conference in Sonoma California (Also attached);

Carbon Conservation for Home, Health, Energy & Climate
http://2012.biochar.us.com/299/2012-us-biochar-conference-presentations

Complementary to my focus on animal feed supplements as practiced by the European and Japanese companies, here is this first in vivo study by Dr.Leng in Australia. This Black Revolution for agriculture could be fermented by our livestock. In the EU, 90% of the Biochar produced is passed through livestock before composting and field application. On Swiss Farms they have eliminated manure odor and closed the nutrient loop by retaining N in the Char/Compost. Dr. Preston and Dr. Ron Leng have shown a 0.64% rice hull biochar incorporated into cattle feed reduced enteric methane emissions (40%), enhancing feed conversion (25%!), this has to be one the greatest advances in bovine nutrition in the last few decades.
http://www.lrrd.org/public-lrrd/proofs/lrrd2411/leng24199.htm

A New discovery from the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley about fungal potassium being the primary nucleating catalyst for rain. That vision of how life itself calls the rain is another unaccounted for ecological service provided by a healthy soil.

Also to your interest, the Iwamoto company (SuperStoneClean Biochar) has been doing soil remediation in Fukushima Japan, concentrating the cesium to magnetic ash. Additionally, the video below, shows their work in remediating salt damage from the tsunami itself.
Fields Flourish Again
A company in Gifu prefecture has developed a machine that's helping with the recovery of agriculture in Japan's northeast.
http://www.jibtv.com/video/video6.html?n=0

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