The short rains planting season is well under way in Bungoma and many of our customers are reaping the benefits of biochar for their second season – in most cases benefiting from biochar they applied the prior season.
This is one of the qualities of biochar we are evaluating in our second round of test plots.
This season we have arranged two sets of plots. The first set was planted in the exact same way as our first round – with varying amounts of biochar, DAP, urine solution, and compost – except for two differences: we rotated crops from finger millet to sorghum and, most importantly, we did not add any new biochar.
What this means is that any effect biochar will have this season will have been carried over from the prior season’s application. We are testing the long term effect of a single biochar application.
Even after just a few weeks, there are noticeable differences. Below you can see how our compost-only plot is doing. Looking pretty healthy.
But then you take a look at the plot with 24kg of residual biochar and there’s a world of difference:
Our second set of test plots is evaluating various organic fertilizers, biochar feed stocks, and application methods. Different % solutions, quantities, and application methods of tithonia leaves (shown below), human urine, compost, and biochar are pitted against one another, and against DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) – the locally available inorganic fertilizer.
While right now we are only able to provide qualitative analysis, we look forward to sharing our yield results after harvest in December.
Keep an eye out!