Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Biochar: Implications for Agricultural Productivity

Biochar: Implications for Agricultural Productivity

This report presents findings of a desktop review into biochar, covering potential applications, benefits, costs and risks, and future research required to realise the agricultural productivity improvement and environmental sustainability potential of biochar. This report focuses on production and application of biochar to soils to improve soil function and the ancillary benefits that may arise. Use of biochar as a way to abate greenhouse gases and sequester carbon is discussed in only general terms. Biochar production options are discussed to highlight feedstock biomass sources and production conditions that maximise biochar production for agricultural purposes. The report describes biochar characteristics required to maximise agricultural productivity, followed by a detailed description of the potential benefits of biochar additions to plant and animal productivity. The potential of biochar for carbon sequestration and waste management is also discussed briefly. Finally, potential risks, barriers and limitations to biochar application are discussed and knowledge gaps for future research identified.


Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
December 2011

Associated Sectors:

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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