Saturday, November 26, 2016

Potatoes and biochar are not friends

Public Release: 4-Oct-2016
Potatoes and biochar are not friends
Adding biochar to soil can reduce yield in potatoes -- particularly if the soil is deficient in phosphorous and water
Aarhus University

Studies have shown that adding biochar to soil can improve soil fertility, increase nutrient utilisation in plants, improve soil water-holding capacity, increase crop yield and reduce emission of greenhouse gases.

However, if you are a potato farmer, your joy may be short-lived. Biochar and potatoes do not go very well together - at least not if you are aiming at saving water, according to results from Aarhus University.

During her PhD studies, Caixia Liu from the Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, investigated the effect of adding biochar produced from wood on potato growth, yield, nutrient uptake and water utilisation when three other factors were also taken into consideration: irrigation methods, phosphorous fertilization and inoculation with a certain class of beneficial fungi. The aim was to investigate the interactions between biochar and the fungi on the growth of potatoes.


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