Animal Bone biochar (ABC) is a recovered organic phosphorus fertiliser produced from food grade animal bones with advanced zero emission environmental performance. The current investment project is aimed at the implementation of an ABC processing plant hardware installation (replication model) and the global market uptake of ABC biochar technology.
Joeke Postma, Els Nijhuis & Marieke Förch - Wageningen UR
Inoculation of potting soil mixtures with the mycorrhiza Rhizophagus irregularis, available from the EU project REFERTIL, improved plant health of young strawberry plants. A greenhouse experiment carried out by researchers Joeke Postma and Marieke Förch from Wageningen UR has demonstrated this. Unrooted strawberry cuttings planted in a substrate with mycorrhiza became less infected by Phytophthora cactorum than plants in the absence of mycorrhiza. This is a promising way of preventing crown rot in strawberries.
Compost and biochar can be successfully applied on vegetable crops mixed with growing media or with soil. In the first case (potted plants), the recommended application rate in the growing media is 5-20% v/v for compost and 0.1 – 2% for biochar. In the second case (soil crops), the recommended application rate, depending on soil type and crop uptakes, in the soil is 5-20 t/ha for compost and 100-2000 kg/ha for biochar.
Plants form symbioses together with mycorrhizal fungi, gaining from them help with uptake of nutrients. When P is in an insoluble form plants need mycorrhizal fungi to access it. Bio-char produced from animal bones contains very high amounts of bound P. Here the symbionts form a “P-bridge” and help to take up the valuable nutrient. The advantages of bio-chars/composts and the fungal symbionts urge to develop a combined application of both. Therefor this is one of the aims of REFERTIL.
The REFERTIL project provides continuous policy support works for the European Commission (DG Industry and Enterprise and other DGs) related to the revision of the Fertiliser Regulation (Reg. (EC) No 2003/2003), and the possible regulation inclusion of compost and biochar, such as organic P fertilizer (ABC – Animal Bone bioChar) and soil additive (PBC- Plant based biochar).
When biochar is irrevocable applied to open and complex soil ecological system, there is also a direct interlink to subsurface water systems, therefore only qualified and safe biochar must be applied. The aim is to ensure that the proposed biochar quality and safety criteria are fully consistent with EU-wide Directives and Regulations for long term.
The REFERTIL (289785) Collaborative project is co-funded by the European Commission, Directorate General for Research, within the 7th Framework Programme of RTD, Theme 2 - Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology.
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