ANZBC17 update


Countdown to ANZBC17!!

G’day Folks,

As we countdown the weeks to ANZBC17, a  reminder to submit your 30 or 20 minute presentation as well as your two page abstract or picture/ dot point summary by July 31st.

This will ensure we have everything available well ahead of time to do a test run and make sure we have the schedule right rather than last minute adjustments.

If everyone can adhere to this timeline it will help make proceedings run smoother. If you have not received a copy of the abstract or two page summary, please get in touch.

I will be following up individually with people closer to the timeline to make sure we are on track.

Accepting More Presenters

We invite more presenters to join a waiting list and come prepared with a 20 minute presentation and a two page abstract summary or dot point/picture summary. Please make contact if you know you’re attending ANZBC17 and would like an opportunity to present and go into published proceedings if it becomes available.

Panel Discussion

From 4-5pm on Friday August 11, we will finish the day session with a Panel Discussion. The working group will help select a diverse panel with the topic of discussion being Biochar Industry in Australia & New Zealand – “How to move from Research to Commercilisation”

We will have a moderator and select the best submitted questions from the audience to ask the panel.

State & NZ Stall Representatives

We will be setting up a table and chairs for each State of Australia & New Zealand in the Canvas & Kettle room (next room to the auditorium of Murwillumbah Civic Centre) & in the Walmsley Pavillion at Murwillumbah Showgrounds (where the Trade Expo will be on Day 3)

State Industry organisations or individuals can showcase what’s going on in your neck of the woods. A static display with your contact details, brochures, posters, etc would be suitable for this.

If you would like to represent your State or Country please make contact with me directly. There will be prizes for best stall and runner up!!

Networking Dinner

We invite all of our presenters and delegates to attend a Networking Dinner on the Friday night of August 11 from 7pm till finish. We will have a light meal, some Organic N.Z. Wine, light entertainment and hand out a few prizes along the way.
Please pre purchase your ticket to the Networking Dinner here

ANZ Biochar Not For Profit

The working group for ANZBC17 has been meeting now for 10 months and we would like to see the formation of an industry based ANZ Biochar Not For Profit Organisation. We envisage that this would be similar to IBI & USBI only ANZ focussed so that we have a regular Monthly Newsletter, a regular webinar series, an annual or biennial Industry Conference, attract grants for research and commercialisation to take biochar mainstream in ANZ and to unite each of the State and New Zealand Organisations.

We welcome any feedback leading up to and during the Conference and we would like to take this opportunity to seek your expression of interest to join such a NFP and or select a committee.

Thanks very much for taking the time to read through this information and for your participation at ANZBC17. Let’s make it great to achieve financial, environmental and social outcomes for all of us??!!


Don Coyne
Event Co-ordinator (on behalf of the ANZBC17 Working Group)

ANZBC17 Program is published

Thanks Don, for all your hard work… great program line-lineup.

Complete Programme & Timetable Announced

We are very privileged to announce the following complete programme and timetable with presenters and demonstrators representing every State in Australia, New Zealand & overseas countries for Biochar which has been 10 months in the planning.

To view the full programme timetable visit;

$9.2 Million Funding for Dung Beetles!!

Well done to our Keynote Speaker and innovative W.A. Farmer Doug Pow and invited presenter Kathy Dawson from The Biochar Network of W.A. for their positive contributions to a successful funding application of the Rural R&D for Profit Programme Round 3 led by Meat & Livestock Australia and CSIRO. $9.2 Million from the Federal Govt. to introduce a whole new raft of dung beetle species to fill the seasonal gaps right around the Country. Now that’s a lot of biochar we can bury whilst keeping food on the plate!! Meet Doug & Kathy in person at ANZBC17. Chars Barnaby Joyce!!

See the full article here;

Professor Stephen Joseph Awarded AM
for biochar service.

Congratulations to our Keynote Speaker Professor Stephen Joseph who has rightly received a
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia (A-L)
This was for significant service to science through research and developments in biochar engineering and renewable energy, and to the community. Service includes: Founding Vice-Chairman, International Biochar Initiative, 2007-2012; Advisory Committee Member, current. Committee Member, Australian and New Zealand Biochar Researchers Network, current. Visiting Professor, School of Material Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, since 2007. Visiting Professor, Nanjing Agricultural University, current. Visiting Professor, University of New England, current. Visiting Associate Professor, University of Wollongong, current. Founding Director, Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination, (Holland and Kenya), 1980s. Former Senior Manager, Practical Action, (a United Kingdom based charitable organisation). Member, Central Coast Shalom Progressive Jewish Congregation, since 1983. Supporter, Community Aid Abroad, since 1970s. Technical Panel Member, Save the Children, 2000-2006

ID Gasifiers to Demonstrate on Day 3!!

Announcing Peter & Kerry Davies of ID Gasifiers will demonstrate their proprietary technology, the trailer mounted “Thermal Reactor & Multi Function Retort” for mobile biochar production on Day 3 at Murwillumbah Showgrounds. They now have a handful of projects on the go and have done the hard yards to create a unit that meets EPA Standards for emissions, creating thermal energy, char and wood vinegar!! What farm wouldn’t want one?!

We will run some rocket fuel, the Macadamia Shell through it on the day, don’t miss out seeing this unit in action!! Check out their You Tube clip here:

Time to Register or Book a Trade Stall before end of financial year?

1 Day Trade Stall

Promote your business to Growers, Farmers, Foresters, Policy Makers and Councils from all over Australia, New
Zealand & the rest of the World at our Trade Expo. 3m x 3m Spaces available.


Buy Now
3 Day Black Gold Pass
The aims and objectives of ANZBC17 are to bring together scientists & growers to bridge the gap between applied science & commercial applications.
Buy Now

Day 1 & 2 Live Stream

Watch and listen our presenters on Day 1 & 2 of our Programme from anywhere in the World as long as you have the computer requirements and bandwidth.


Buy Now

Email to ABE group

On Sat, May 20, 2017 at 3:37 PM, Trevor Richards <trevor at> wrote:

Dear ABE group,
Please find below an e-letter​ I hope you will read and share. A few of you may have been sent this already from another list… sorry for this.

Dennis and I have been discussing the need/interest for biochar workshops in NZ. We agree that more needs to be done to raise the awareness on biochar in NZ but I’m wondering if we can gather the support we would need for a biochar speaker/workshop tour of NZ. Some ideas:

  • invite overseas production &/or applications specialist
  • collaborate with local groups around NZ for each venue
  • seek funding from …

There would be much to consider and organise for such a tour, so some sort of support group may need to gather around the idea to take it forward. We would welcome any comments or expressions of support for this.

​​Australia New Zealand Biochar Conference 2017

Biochar (charcoal made for use in soil) increases the productivity and resilience of many soils and contributes to climate change mitigation, as shown by research here in NZ and around the world.

It has also been shown to improve soil moisture and nutrient holding capacity, improve animal health and reduce animal emissions, reduce the uptake of soil contaminants in our food such as heavy metals and other chemicals, and has a range of cascading applications from production to soil application such as nutrient capture and water quality enhancement.

We are focused on increasing the knowledge base and expanding the biochar industry to highlight biochar as a major contributor to fight the many issues we face in our world today.

The ANZBC17 conference is being held near the Gold Coast​ in Australia on 10 – 12th August to provide opportunities for researchers, industry players and interested parties to connect and advance the use of biochar.

Please consider attending this conference or becoming a sponsor (we are trying to help NZ speakers with conference travel costs)​.

​Further information is available on ​the conference website:

Your interest and support is ​appreciated​.

Dennis Enright, ​​former co-chair of Soil & Health​
Trevor Richards​, ​co-founder of A​llBlackEarth
(ANZBC17 Organising Committee​ – NZ branch)

Vivid Economics report

This new report is a bit of a disappointment if you are looking for any focus on biochar or soil carbon but they did at least try to include something… (but only in the supporting technical report!)

click to link to website

Pg.65: “Finally, biochar could be an effective means of reducing several GHGs. Biochar is a highly porous charcoal that can be created from harvesting waste from plantation forests. There is good evidence that it is a very stable form of carbon, so it could be applied to soils to store more carbon. Specific biochars might also help reduce N 2 O emissions, although the exact mechanisms are not yet clear. However, the main challenge at present to any widespread use of biochar in a pastoral system remains its cost and the large area that would need to be covered (Pollock 2015).

IMO: a failure here to recognize potential of biomass for CHAB. Crop /forestry residues and coppice could replace coal… Fonterra being the low hanging fruit. Biochar is a co-product, valued accordingly.

Pg.88: “Soil farming and biochar abatement potential and costs. Some authors focus on the difficulties to measure, monitor and verify savings from these options while others suggest that there is significant scope for rollout (Sims et al. 2016). Further research in the New Zealand context of the costs and scope for roll out is required before this can be included in a robust assessment of abatement potential. This research could focus on the need for better quantification on the effects of biochar on soil productivity and nitrogen leaching, along with the extent to which emissions reductions could be permanent.

I like the references to “further research” when funding in NZ stopped years ago…

This report has been compiled by Vivid Economics under contract with GLOBE-NZ, a cross-party group of 35 members, drawn from all parties within the 51st New Zealand Parliament. The report’s authors were Alex Kazaglis, John Ward, Stuart Evans, Paul Sammon and Luke Kemp. The project, funded for GLOBE-NZ by a group of donors within New Zealand, covered the period 1 September 2016 to 28 February 2017. The donors, in alphabetical order, were British High Commission, Mercury Energy, Mills Foundation, Morgan Foundation, Sam Morgan, Rob Morrison, NZ European Union Centres Network, Tindall Foundation, US Embassy, Vector NZ Ltd, Victoria Ransom, Warehouse Group and Z Energy.

Motueka Kai Fest: Biochar talk – 1st April

Don Graves is giving a biochar talk during the week of events leading up to KaiFest…

Day: Saturday 1 April
Time: 3-5pm
Location: Te Awhina Marae
Biochar is produced by heating wood and other carbon products to high temperatures in the absence
of oxygen, and then adding the resulting charcoal to soil. It has many uses in agriculture and
horticulture, including soil water retention, effluent control, increased fertility, and carbon
sequestration. This workshop will go into some of the details of how biochar can be made and used on a domestic or large commercial scale for these benefits.
Your speaker: New Zealand Biochar solutions is a local group established in 2016 to promote the use of biochar for reducing waste, enhancing long-term soil fertility, and sequestering carbon in the Earth where it belongs, rather than in the air where it contributes to climate change. Don Graves is a soil biologist who has studied biochar extensively.

Healthy Rivers Wai Ora – newsletter

It looks like the biochar ‘industry’ in NZ has missed any opportunity to wave the black flag here, for N management. I have been following the public engagement from afar over the years, but there did not seem to be a path to biochar acceptance as having potential technical application. At least, not until Overseer incorporates a biochar module (and I’m guessing that’s a distant hope).

Click on the image below for a link to the web version of the newsletter…

Waikato Regional Council is urging the public to step up and have their say on Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora: Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1.The council has prepared its own submission on the proposed plan, and has received 280 submissions from the public to date. Submissions on the proposed plan close at 5pm tomorrow. You can still make a submission by clicking this link here.“Managing water quality in the Waikato and Waipā rivers is one of the biggest environmental issues facing our region. For the last two decades our community has told us water quality is their number one priority, now is their opportunity to have their say on the solutions proposed,” says council chief executive Vaughan Payne. Mr Payne said no policy is perfect when it’s first notified and as with any policy development there are aspects of the proposed plan the council believes may need to be refined. We expect this to happen through the submission process. The council submission takes into consideration how the plan can practically be implemented and enforced, how the plan affects the council as a land owner and key infrastructure provider, and how the proposed plan delivers on the regional council’s legal responsibilities for developing resource management policy for freshwater management.“Our submission supports the overall intent and objectives of the proposed plan while making practical suggestions for improvements in how Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora could be implemented for affected landowners, while ensuring the protection and restoration of the Waikato and Waipā rivers into the future,” Mr Payne said.

Key submission areas include the approach to nitrogen management, ownership of nitrogen reference points, including monitoring and enforceability, the implications of the current proposal on commercial vegetable production and addressing some inconsistencies in the proposed plan rules.You can read all the recent media releases here.

ANZBC2017 update – venue secured

G’day & Kia ora (How are ya?!)

Been a bit a hot out late hey?!! You know it’s amazing what this little black piece of biomass can do!!

Yes you’ve seen the Ads, imagine if Scott Morrison bought a piece of Biochar into Parliament, what hope would this invoke for our future?! Once carbonised, Biochar is a stabler form of carbon than compost and mulch and only needs to be applied once in a lifetime. But why is it often so expensive? Why isn’t this on the mainstream agenda for Farmers and Sustainable builders yet? We’ve had years of research and now the number of Scientific Papers per annum rivals Cancer and other important Medical Fields, why? We will explore these topics and more at ANZBC17 and engage with the Commercial players that are now entering the ANZ Market with Technology and Value added Bio-Products.

The Biochar Mineral Complex that the Cows and Dung Beetles have created 60cm down into the subsoil of Doug Pow’s Pasture in Manjimup Western Australia has now been analysed under the strongest microscope in the World thanks to Dr Stephen Joseph et al. We are discovering things that we never thought possible. We’ll get an update on this game changing, economically viable method from both of them at ANZBC17.

So, have you made a plan to attend, exhibit and or sponsor ANZBC17 yet? Then call us directly on +6459175729, check out all the info at and or email us at


Biochar Don (on behalf of the ANZBC17 Team)

Tweed Council resolve to Sponsor ANZBC17!!

Last Thursday night Tweed Council voted unanimously to Sponsor ANZBC17 via the Council’s Sustainable Ag Programme. As their logo encapsulates, in the Tweed, you’ve got the best of both Worlds with the great Mount Warning in the backdrop, ocean and surf not too far away, beautiful rivers winding through the hills as well as forest and bushlands for many walks.Chars so much TSC!!

Also welcome to new Silver Sponsor together with Southern Cross Uni’s Environmental Analysis Laboratories, Australian Sugarcane Magazine who has subsidised our advertising to reach out to Sugarcane Farmers wanting to get into a bit of Carbon Smart Farming. Big Chars to Australian Sugarcane!!

Would you like to Sponsor ANZBC17?! our Preliminary Sponsroship Deadline is March 2 so get in quick to capture Autumn opportunities!! Visit our website at


We have chosen to hold ANZBC17 in the heart of Sugarcane & Banana Country, Murwillumbah and we thank the Tweed Council, Murwillumbah Showgrounds & Tweed River Agricultural Society for hosting the event.

Day 1 & 2 will be held in the Auditorium of Murwillumbah Civic & Cultural Centre, right in town close to Cafes, restaurants and Pubs (you can get thirsty taking in all this information!!)

Day 3 will be held in the Murwillumbah Showgrounds & Tweed Valley Ag Society Function Centre. There will be a workshop programme, demonstrations, State Marquee Pavillions and more. Within walking distance to town, camping is available on site.

Trade Expo
Welcome to our new exhibitors Starfish Initiatives promoting their global Biochar for Sustainable Soils Project and Olssons Livestock Nutrition who have released the Organic Certified Biochar Salt Block. You can book a Trade Stall online now at Early Bird Prices which includes entry for 2 people into ANZBC17. Visit or email


Day 1 and 2 will involve Indoor Presentations using PowerPoint type slideshows 30 minutes long including Q & A. If you are interested in Presenting at ANZBC17 then please choose from the following categories and contact us using the Contact Form on this website;

(i) Technology & Production for matching sustainable biomass sources
(ii) Value added Bio-Products
(iii) Applied Science (Discoveries & Results)
(iii) Commercial Applications (Methods & Results)

Day 3 will involve indoor and outdoor workshops of a symposium type festival atmosphere with corresponding Trade Show. There will be indoor facilities available for PowerPoint Presentations and outdoor areas for Workshops that will range from 15 mins to 1/2 Hours long for demonstrations.

Please contact us using the contact form if you are interested in delivering a Workshop or Demonstration. A copy of your Public Liability Insurance is required.

Koanga article discussed biochar in the garden

Kay Baxter identifies biochar as an important component of her soil development and gardening strategy. It would be great to hear other folks ideas and experiences in NZ.

“….then we added 5kgs of CHARGED biochar per sq m and that changed everything.”

LCR & biochar: leaky soil + methane

I was critical of LandCare Research in a recent (17Dec) Biochar@ABE FB post based on this video…

I posted a comment: “Could someone from LCR or Lincoln advise if biochar was considered as a tool worthy of study in these leaky soils.” and got the following reply: “we use biochar in a variety of different manners, one of which you can read about here: “

Its great to see biochar as part of this research (with potentially major opportunities for biochar to help in dairy effluent management issues). But this does not really address my Q about biochar in leaky soil research.