Biochar: new to the scene

Biochar is activated carbon.  It is produced from smoldering wood chips or any carbon containing biosolid in the absence of oxygen.  The discovery of biochar dates back over 5,000 years to the depths of the Amazon jungle.  Natives discovered how to artificially create soil through mixing wastes with rain smoldered fire char.   The high carbon content of biochar provides a coral reef structure for biology to thrive on carbon molecules.  Biochar has a high absorption quality for soluble nutrients.  When mixed with manure, it creates a highly biologically active soil amendment with the ability to store multiple times its weight in water and in ammonia.  Over the past decade, university research has begun to study the effects of biochar as a manure treatment and soil amendment.  We are beginning use biochar by incorporating it into the cattle bedding packs.  Biochar can also be used as a feed ingredient.  Although not extensively researched, it has great gut health properties for both monogastric and ruminant animals.  Below you can see that biochar is essentially the same thing as charcoal briquettes used for the common backyard grill.  Who knew there was so much science involved with charcoal! 

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