Biochar is a stable rich type of charcoal resulting from the controlled combustion, without oxygen, of various types of biomass by pyrolisis. It has many benefits for agriculture such as: improving soil fertility, water holding capacity and crop productivity. Adding biochar to soils increases its carbon content and could help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Biochar has also many benefits in cattle farming by introducing small amounts of biochar in the diet, up to 2%, such as:
Improving the health of cattle
Reduces methane emissions from cattle
Improves growth rate.
Promotes weigh gain.
Greenresults Ltd., International Environmental Consulting.
Biochar is also very useful in enclosed feedlots in the following ways:
The very high porosity of biochar readily absorbs liquid manures contributing to a drier environment for animal well being in enclosed areas.
Odour reduction when biochar is placed on the surface of lagoons and when stockpiling manure.
The manure of biochar-fed cattle is an improved fertilizer that reduces the need of chemical fertilizers. In addition, Biochar-manure has a higher C sequestration potential than regular manure.
Biochar is generally produced by pyrolisis equipment that requires investments but it can also be produced economically by farmers without “big machinery” in the traditional way that charcoal is obtained.