Archive for the ‘trial design’ Category

Pot trials begin in India

August 19, 2010

Under the management of Mr Prabune, the field trials are underway at the ARTI field station*. There are 6 replicates of 12 treatments, which include 20, 40, 60 and 80t/ha biochar, vermicompost and cow manure, and a chemical fertiliser.
Thus far, the eggplants (aubergine) have been transplanted into the pots prepared with the different amendments, and this week those seedlings which died will be replaced. The egg plant takes 30-40 days to flower, then a further 60-80 days until harvest.

*Appropriate Rural Technology Institute’s Rural Entrepreneurship Development Centre
Ganeshnagar, Phaltan – Banaramati Road, Phaltan 415523 District Satara. M.S. (

Pot trials with egg plant, India, August 2010


Rice growing timetable

June 25, 2010

Observations from the field were made on preparation and planting of rice in Pouk.

In this case a medium season rice is being grown – Phka Rumdoul. It has a medium duration (140-150days) and is being grown by out-growers in Kouk Cherei for the Nagathom fund.

First the grain is soaked for 24h.

Soaking rice, 24.06.2010 Kouk Cherei village

Then the grain is broadcasted by hand onto the nursery field, where it is grown for up to a month. This time often depends on the rains, since it is preferable to plant out in wet ground..

Broadcasting onto nursery field 23.06.2010. Kouk Cherei village.

Meanwhile the land is prepared and is ploughed up to 4+ times. We try to add biochar before the final plough to avoid ploughing dragging the biochar away from the plot too much.

Then finally the rice is planted out.

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.

Mid-term progress workshop 24.05.2010

May 30, 2010

The mid-term progress workshop was held for the team working on the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research project ‘biocharm’.

This began with a visit to field trials in Phaltan, Satara District, Maharastra State, managed by ARTI. The maize is growing well, and at present it is possible to see an increase in germination rate with the maze grown in the biochar treatments.

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.

Pot trials for lettuce set up

February 23, 2010

Pot trials were set up with Cambodia’s Department of Agriculture and Community Development (APSARA authority) research farm.
Soil was amended with combinations of biochar, compost, lake sediment and organic fertiliser (produced from pig manure). 7 treatments and 4 replicates were set up for lettuces grown in pots.
The soil amendments aim to improve the soil for growing vegetables, and the weight of the lettuces (roots and leaves), and height will be recorded to determine each treatment’s effectiveness.

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.