Archive for April, 2010

Bok Choy harvested at TrailBlazer farm

April 15, 2010

The bok choy which was planted in biochar an non biochar amended soil in the TrailBlazer farm was harvested during Khmer New Year (14/04/2010). Equivalent of approximately 30 and 60t/ha treatments of biochar were used, and the soil was also amended with the Foundation’s compost mix, which includes rice husk and cow dung, and is inoculated with EM.

Height of the plants and weight of above and below ground biomass were measured.

TrailBlazers' Bok Choy 14.04.2010

Cucumber crop failure

April 15, 2010

A visit to one of the cucumber farmers who has been testing of biochar on their farm found that pests and diseases had severely reduced the quality and quantity of the crop. This  trial cannot be included in the program, but harvests are still currently being recorded by two other cucumber farmers, so we are hoping some good results from the biochar trials there.

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12/04/2010. Cucumber leaf with evidence of pests and diseases.

Sangkheum Centre trials

April 7, 2010

Lettuce from trials at the Sangkheum Centre grown with no biochar and with approximately 20t/ha equivalent, were harvested on 5th April. The soil was also ammended in both plots with compost and EM. The lettuce were picked and the weight recorded, along with the weight of the roots, and the saleable biomass only. The lettuce from the biochar amended soil had a greater biomass than the soil without biochar.

The pH of the soil, and infiltration rate is being measured in-situ as the trials progress.

Morning glory from the Sangkheum Centre will shortly be ready for harvest.

Rice harvesting – Pouk trials

April 7, 2010

Rice was harvested from trials of biochar in Pouk District, Siem Reap Province.

A farm had been selected for the trials and approximate equivalents of 0, 10, 30 and 60 t/ha biochar was added onto plots 10mx5m.
The rice was harvested by hand, and rice was removed using a mobile thrasher. The rice including husks were weighed, and yields between around 1.5 and 2.5 t/ha were recorded, with the higher yield coming from the plot with 60t/ha biochar, and the lowest from the control.

Biochar Malaysia 2010

April 1, 2010

Sarah represented the biocharm project at this workshop on 25.03.10 at the University of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It had a varied programme which included the potential of biochars to remediate polluted soils from Dr. Hale and Cornelissen from the Norwegien Geotechnical Institute. Passive sampling of soils, sediments and water for pollutants / contaminants can be undertaken using Polyoxymethylene (POM). Strips of this plastic material can be incorporated into field sites and  after they have been in the ground long enough so that equilibrium has been reached, contaminants in the soil will have been absorbed into the transient cavity of the membrane which can then be removed from the site and analysed.

More on this technique of passive sampling to follow!

A summary of the networks for biochar research in SE Asia was given by Trevor Richards from the IBI SE Asia group.

A TLUD (version by Anderson) was demonstrated by the workshop host Dr Bachmann from the University of Kuala Lumpur who also discussed the production of biochar from household to industrial scale.