Archive for the ‘biochar application’ Category

Safety first!

August 2, 2010

Biochar was added to the last (for now…) rice field in the current trials, which is in Chireve village, close to Siem Reap. It is policy now to wear masks for biochar application just as a precautionary measure until more research is done on the potential risks when handling biochar.

Biochar spreading in Chireave 02.08.2010. Picture by Vichida Tan.

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Biochar application 14.07.2010

July 21, 2010

Biochar was added to the last farmer who is an outgrower with Nagathom in Kouk Cherei. Again the same plot design was used as recent rice trials. This farmer will plough, then transplant the seedlings within the next 3 days.

Biochar application Nagathom 2. 14.07.2010. Photo by Vichida Tan.

Biochar application Nagathom 2. 14.07.2010. Photo by Vichida Tan.

More biochar application to rice fields

June 25, 2010

Biochar spread in two farms in Kouk Cherei. Again the same plot design was used as recent rice trials.

Biochar application to Nagathom farmer 1. Kouk Cherei Village, Sasasdom Commune, Pouk District, Siem Reap. 25.06.2010

Biochar application to Nagathom farmer 3. Kouk Cherei Village, Sasasdom Commune, Pouk District, Siem Reap. 25.06.2010. Picture by Vichida Tan.

Practicalities of biochar application…

June 8, 2010

….. onto a flooded field.

Today we added biochar to a flooded paddy in Krabeil Reil, Pouk District. This farm could have been drained, but this was not part of his usual land preparation routine since it is easier to plough when the land is wet. So we went ahead and added biochar on the field which was submerged in about 20cm of water.

08.06.2010 Adding biochar to a field in Phum Popis village, Krabeli Reil commune, Pouk district, Siem Reap province. Picture by Vichida Tan.

Plots were marked out, and the bags put into the plots where they needed to be spread, however the bags quickly soaked up the water in the field and became heavier so were more difficult to spread than on a dry field. After the bags had been emptied, and during this process roughly spread across the plots, it was also more difficult to see how evenly the biochar had been spread.

The flooded paddy meant that incorporation by hand would have been more difficult, but the land will still be ploughed again which will incorporate the biochar sufficiently, then the farmer expects to plant in about one week. The layout of this plot is as in the nearby trial in Krabeil Reil.

There was no sign of the biochar moving from the plots, since most of it sank quickly after application. Some appeared to float for a while before sinking, but since the water was not moving, it was not thought that the biochar was moving away from the plot.

More information on biochar addition and incorporation.

Paddy rice trial set up 02.06.2010

June 2, 2010

Biochar trial plots were prepared for rice to be planted. Rice is to be soaked for 24 hours then seeded directly onto the plot in around one weeks time. Six plots (5m x 5m), three control and three amended with 40t/ha biochar were set up in a latin square layout.

02.06.2010 Plot preparation in Prey Kroch Village, Krabeil Riel Commune, Pouk District, Siem Reap Province

Rice is expected to be harvested approximately 100 days after planting.

At the other end of the field, trials from last season will also be monitored.

The field had been recently ploughed, and biochar was still clearly visible within the plots from the application on the 21st December 2009.

11/05/2010 Biochar application

May 14, 2010

Lettuces and long-beans are being grown shortly on this farm so it was decided to add biochar to some plots.

The biochar was spread over the beds then raked to ensure it was evenly distributed before being hoed in. See ‘application and incorporation‘ for more info.

Adding biochar 11.05.2010

Spreading biochar, Harmony Farm, 10.05.2010

May 13, 2010

Harmony Farm is 60km away from Siem Reap, near the temple of Beng Melia.

The biochar and rice husk ash were spread – it was noticed that the rice husk ash was very dusty and was easily blown around by the wind unlike the biochar from the ice factory. The biochar was fresh, and was still moist as it is expelled out the unit with water. The biochar will be ploughed in over the next two days.

Three levels of application were added to three plots of each substance, with two control plots – 8m x 6m.

Rice husk biochar (front), and rice husk ash (back) spread into plots at Harmony Farm. 10.05.2010.

Biocharm 2009

February 10, 2010

The initial visit to Cambodia in November and December 2009 was a great success.

This was a scoping visit to investigate potential crop trial locations. Some great contacts were made, and the first deployment of biochar was made on the 19th December. Lessons were learned about the logistics of moving truck loads of biochar around Cambodia, and methods of application to different soils were tested.

Biochar was added to 5 field sites, which comprised of a total of 17 plots (including controls).

Things were also set in motion for the next stage to begin in January 2010.

Applications begin in February 2010

January 18, 2010

On 12th February, a truck load of biochar was delivered to 8 new field sites. To date biochar has been incorporated into soil into 3 sites, and pot trials (see post) have been set up in a 4th site. In most cases rows planned for vegetable growing have been selected randomly for different treatments in each location. Application rates of between 10 and 60 tonnes/ha equivalent have been used, and crops include morning glory, lettuce, cabbage and melons.

Over the next few weeks plots will be set up in the remaining locations.