Australian Study, Compost and Biochar amendments for increased carbon sequestration and soil resiliance
James Cook University in Australia are working on a research project where biochar is specifically mixed in at an early stage of the composting project, COMBI-mix, to determine the impact on carbon sequestration and model the impacts on the agricultural impacts.
TESS project leader: Michael Bird
Description: Compost and biochar are used separately for improving soil condition and sequestering carbon, and have been shown to be of particular benefit in tropical agricultural soils. This project will mix biochar with organic waste prior to composting (COMBI-mix) to synergistically enhance the acknowledged benefits of both materials. We will (i) trial business as usual, compost alone, biochar alone, COMBI-mix and compost mixed with biochar at nine field sites across North Queensland, (ii) determine the impact of each on carbon sequestration, GHG fluxes and crop performance (iii) provide inputs to better model soil carbon in agricultural systems and (iv) model costs/benefits at the farm/regional/industry scale.
Funding body: DAFF - Carbon Farming Futures - Filling the Research Gap Programme
JCU - Paul Nelson, Amy Beavan
Black is Green Pty Ltd: biochar manufacture and biochar field trials
King Brown Technologies: compost manufacture
SITA Organics (SITA Australia Pty Ltd): compost manufacture and compost field trials
Peanut Company of Australia Pty Ltd: supplier of peanuts in Australia and Internationally
Terrain NRM: resource management/agricultural extension in north Queensland
Northern Gulf NRM: resource management/agricultural extension in north Queensland
Dry tropics NRM: resource management/agricultural extension in north Queensland
Herbert Cane Productivity Services Pty Ltd (HCPSL): sugar cane production systems.
Trial 1 – Sugarcane – Mourilyan, SITA Organics compost, Terrain management
Trial 2 – Sugarcane – Atherton Tablelands, SITA Organics compost, NGNRM management
Trial 3 – Sugarcane - Ingham, SITA Organics compost, HCPSL Management
Trial 4 – Bananas - North Johnstone – Kingbrown compost, Terrain management
Trial 5 – Bananas - Atherton Tablelands - Kingbrown compost, NGNRM management
Trial 6 – Paw paw - Atherton Tablelands - Kingbrown compost, NGNRM management
Trial 7 – Peanuts, red soil – Atherton Tablelands, Kingbrown compost, NGNRM management
Trial 8 – Peanuts, sandy soil – Atherton Tablelands, Kingbrown compost, Terrain management