This is interesting: https://carbonlogicus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/CL_datasheet.pdf
A company called Carbon Logic "utilizes a unique process to create crop specic formulations to maximize growth and yield of cannabis crops". They show data from in-house studies with increases in marijuana yield when you add their biochar to a good (Sunshine Mix) growing media. With several states essentially legalizing marijuana, you will be seeing more such studies, and we have had inquires here at UCR.
The University of California is applying for a special Federal exemption to allow us to grow marijuana in controlled experiments.
Cool Planet lists their press releases here: http://www.coolplanet.com/media/press/
There is a variety of information, including their latest patent for "enhanced biochar", staff changes, etc. A couple of staff changes:
1) Keith Vodrazka is now Cool Planet's Head of Strategy, Commercial, and Technology Alignment, a position previously held by Brian Buege, who is now with Netflix. Keith was kind enough to visit UCR to check on what our group has been doing.
2) This one actually happened 9 months ago: Golf and turf professional Mike Ewert will work with the golf, turf, and landscape industries here in the western states.
And if any other companies or individuals have information they would like posted, just send me an email.
There are a half-dozen TED talks on biochar, many from familiar faces:
Biochar: The Oldest New Thing You've Never Heard Of: Wae Nelson at TEDxOrlando: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrDOLx57KUU
Biochar -- Putting the carbon Genie back in the bottle: Rob Lerner at TEDxSanMiguelDeAllende (2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgwwV6YrWb0
TEDxHilo - Josiah Hunt - Biochar and the Future of Farming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWbomZJn83U
TEDxBerkeley - Lopa Brunjes - Biochar: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZroDAyIqW74
With a little bit of heart, we can change the world -- biochar | Elaine Doyle | TEDxTallaght: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_19j0hEFVz0
Biochar - the future of sustainable agriculture: Lauren Hale at TEDxUCR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKBkgJoaIxQ&t=66s
Steve Feher passed on a website with a good summary of information on biochar: http://biocharfarms.org/ . The website was designed to provide information for farmers and others, and has videos, references, PowerPoints, and a lot of other information.
- Author: Elizabeth Crutchfield
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is working to increase agricultural water use efficiency here in California. DWR is funding our research on the effect of biochar and compost on crop water usage. We have set up three research sites, one in the Central Valley, one in the Central Coastal Rangest and one in the Desert. Sensors will be set up at each of these sites to monitor water use over the growing season.
Terranova Ranch in Helm, CA:
In March, biochar and compost were laid down in a random block design in a field at Terranova Ranch. The treatments are: control, compost, biochar, biochar + compost. In April, the field was planted with processing tomatoes. In early May, the watermark sensors were installed at 1 and 2 ft. depths in each plot.
The tomatoes at Terranova Ranch were ready for harvest in the second week of September. Terranova Ranch kindly agreed to help harvest our plots. At the same time, all the watermark monitors were removed (to prevent damage) and the watermark sensors were unfortunately lost. Following the tomato harvest, Terranova Ranch is leaving that field fallow until next Spring. The Tule sensor will probably be installed in March around the time of harvest to allow for the greatest amount of use for the Ranch.
Preliminary results suggest that the biochar had a negative impact on tomato yield. Plots with compost application yielded 2% more paid weight of tomatoes than the control plots, while plots with biochar had 5% less yield, but the application of compost to the biochar plots recovered the yield to being almost the exact same as the control plots.
Monterey Pacific in King City, CA:
In April, biochar and compost were laid down in a random block design in a field at Monterey Pacific. Treatments include: control (no compost, no biochar), compost (15 tons compost, no biochar), biochar (no compost, 10 tons biochar), and biochar and compost (15 tons compost, 10 tons biochar). Each plot is 36 (4 rows) x 605 (121 vines) ft; with 4 treatments and 4 replicates, our experimental plot encompasses 8 acres. In June, the field was planted with Vitis vinifera ‘Pinot Noir.'
The installation of the watermark sensors at Monterey Pacific has been delayed until the next rain. Soil samples will be collected when the sensors are installed.
Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville, CA:
In December 2016, three biochars from Cool Planet, called CP001 and CP002 and CP001M, were laid down at DREC. Treatments include: treatment 1 (1.7 t/ha of CP001), treatment 2 (3.4 t/ha of CP001), treatment 3 (1.45 t/ha of CP002), treatment 4 (2.9 t/ha of CP002), treatment 5 (2.75 t/ha of CP001M), treatment 6 (5.5 t/ha of CP001M), treatment 7 (11 t/ha of CP001M), treatment 8 (50 t/ha of CP001M), treatment 9 (100 t/ha of CP001M), and treatment 10 (150 t/ha of CP001M). Each treatment is replicated 5 times and each plot is 22 x 200 ft for a total of 5.14 acres.
Sugar beets were planted in mid-October and the Watermark sensors were installed in late October.
Previously, wheat was grown in this field. Data from the field shows that although adding biochar to the field (any type or amount) caused a significant reduction to the yield, increasing the amount of biochar improved the yield. We are still working on figuring out the cause of this unusual response.