Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pot Trial Using Pasture Soil

UBET has several ongoing projects looking at the use of biochar for pasture. Here's a quote from a recent Roseburg News Review article:
“Agriculture has a large economical impact in Douglas County,” said Shelby Filley, regional livestock and forage specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service. According to the latest report, the 2012 census data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 1,927 farms in the county, covering 382,386 acres. The total value of agricultural products sold in the county was $64,803,000, and Filley said most of that value comes from livestock, which is almost double the value of crops. 
UBET started a biochar plot trial at the Duchess Horse Sanctuary that is ongoing. Several of the farmers participating in the UBET Conservation Innovation Grant are cattle ranchers. And most of our farmers have at least some livestock: pigs, sheep, goats or poultry.

In the interest of learning more about the response of pasture soils to biochar and liming, UBET member Don Morrison is conducting a pot trial using soil from his pasture that compares three different kinds of biochar with each other and also with a lime only treatment. Half of the treatments have added nitrogen in the form of urea. OSU researchers are helping to guide the experiment.

Don carefully adds pre-measured soil to pots that will grow one ryegrass plant each
Urea added at a rate of 100 lbs/ac looks like this much when added to 25 small pots

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