Presentation Title

Effects of Nutritionally Charged Biochar on Vegetable Crop Growth, Health and Yield

Location

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Natural & Physical Sciences - Environmental Sciences & Sustainability

Abstract

Biochar, a carbon negative soil amendment, is proven to adsorb nutrients and water, thereby reducing application rates, and lengthening the period of water and nutrient availability to crops. Although both the biochar and fertilizer (nutrients) are important for the crop, they are sold and applied separately and no studies have tested the potential of combining the two before application. This study takes the approach of combining both the components and creating a nutritionally charged biochar by soaking the biochar with nutrients. The primary objective of this study is to understand the effects of nutritionally charged biochar on the crop growth, health and yield. In this sustainable agricultural approach a commercial biochar has been soaked with nutrient-rich crayfish-aquaponics water and regular tap water. The crayfish-aquaponics is a soil-less system, where crop plants are grown on water in association with crayfishes. It is a symbiotic system, where crayfishes supply essential nutrients to plants through their feces and in return plants keep the system clean by uptaking the nutrients from biochemically broken down feces. Soaking of biochar with tap and aquaponics water was continued for a month and then the biochars were air-dried and applied on vegetable crops to compare their efficacy. This study is being conducted at a climate-controlled greenhouse of the Biology department at Georgia Southern University campus, Statesboro, GA. Three different doses (low, medium and high) of both biochars and a control (no biochar) were applied to three vegetable crop plants being grown in containers. The study is laid out in a randomized complete block design with seven treatments and four replications for each crop plant. Weekly soil pH, plant growth (height) and health (chlorophyll content) are being measured and water is applied uniformly. At the end of the study the final crop biomass (fresh weight and dry weight) will be measured to understand the effects of the biochar treatments on yield. We hypothesize that the nutritionally charged biochars may influence the crop growth, health and yield positively.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 10:45 AM

End Date

4-16-2016 12:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 10:45 AM Apr 16th, 12:00 PM

Effects of Nutritionally Charged Biochar on Vegetable Crop Growth, Health and Yield

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Biochar, a carbon negative soil amendment, is proven to adsorb nutrients and water, thereby reducing application rates, and lengthening the period of water and nutrient availability to crops. Although both the biochar and fertilizer (nutrients) are important for the crop, they are sold and applied separately and no studies have tested the potential of combining the two before application. This study takes the approach of combining both the components and creating a nutritionally charged biochar by soaking the biochar with nutrients. The primary objective of this study is to understand the effects of nutritionally charged biochar on the crop growth, health and yield. In this sustainable agricultural approach a commercial biochar has been soaked with nutrient-rich crayfish-aquaponics water and regular tap water. The crayfish-aquaponics is a soil-less system, where crop plants are grown on water in association with crayfishes. It is a symbiotic system, where crayfishes supply essential nutrients to plants through their feces and in return plants keep the system clean by uptaking the nutrients from biochemically broken down feces. Soaking of biochar with tap and aquaponics water was continued for a month and then the biochars were air-dried and applied on vegetable crops to compare their efficacy. This study is being conducted at a climate-controlled greenhouse of the Biology department at Georgia Southern University campus, Statesboro, GA. Three different doses (low, medium and high) of both biochars and a control (no biochar) were applied to three vegetable crop plants being grown in containers. The study is laid out in a randomized complete block design with seven treatments and four replications for each crop plant. Weekly soil pH, plant growth (height) and health (chlorophyll content) are being measured and water is applied uniformly. At the end of the study the final crop biomass (fresh weight and dry weight) will be measured to understand the effects of the biochar treatments on yield. We hypothesize that the nutritionally charged biochars may influence the crop growth, health and yield positively.