Nyngan District, Central West CMA woody waste to biochar demo

Erin Rasmussen

Published on Nov 2, 2012 by CentralWestCMA

Nyngan district farmers saw first hand technology which turns invasive native scrub (INS, also known as woody weeds) into an agricultural resource at a Central West Catchment Management Authority (CMA) field day on Thursday 25 October 2012.
The mobile biochar plant was on demonstration on 'Wilgadale' and transforms woody waste material into biochar without the conventional costs of chipping and transport.

'A biochar plant means the costs of an INS management program can be partly offset through creating agricultural by-products.
'This mobile system also means that the woody material can be processed into biochar without chipping and transporting costs traditional associated with biochar production.' Fourth generation Nyngan landholder Anthony Gibson hosted the CMA field day on his property 'Wilgadale'. 'Woody weeds are a headache for landholders for a number of reasons. They are nightmare to muster through; reduce groundcover and biodiversity; and out-compete useful grasses,' said Anthony. 'The machine we've had a look at today is turning woody weeds into something much more useable -- something we can lock carbon up in and ameliorate the soil. I can see quite a few benefits of it spreading around the landscape. 'The unit makes good use of something that just gets pushed up into a heap and burnt otherwise at great expense. By turning it into something useful it is a real win-win situation.'

The system was originally designed by the company Earth Systems through a North East CMA (Victoria) project to manage willow removal and dispose of the waste material. The Central West CMA worked in partnership with Earth Systems and the North East CMA to demonstrate the system in NSW
http://cw.cma.nsw.gov.au/