Preliminary results from kiwifruit biochar trials

Dr Pranoy Pal has an association with biochar reaching back to his post-doctoral work at Lincoln University in 2012. Pranoy is now the Kiwifruit Technical Manager at Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool – New Zealand’s largest family-owned kiwifruit and avocado packhouse. Pranoy’s aim to use regenerative agriculture principles to horticulture, aligns well with the company’s one of the core principles of sustainability.

From one of the recent trials, he quotes, “Our trial involves the testing of the regenerative agriculture concept – we have sown a 16-species seed mix – a seed only, a seed mix plus biochar, biochar only and a control treatment. The trial is in its infancy (started in Sept 2022) but are planning to run it as a multiyear trial. We are doing a chemical and biological testing of the soil across the treatments. We have partial funding from Zespri on this one. Another similar trial is being planned on another kiwifruit block this upcoming season. The biochar used was sourced from SoilPro, Pukekohe, applied at 1 ton/ha – although I would have liked it to be at least 3 ton/ha. The results of BC+seeds had the biggest impact in our study.

Here is a link to Pranoy’s Linkedin post connected with this work which is also supported by Zespri.

Carbon Rescue: BNNZ on slash crisis

BNNZ has shared some ideas related avoiding some of the environmental impacts associated with the biomass residue removal process that is underway in Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and other parts of NZ affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. This document has been shared with officials dealing with the cleanup but it remains to be seen if any of the suggestions fall on fertile ground (or get smothered in silt!)

BNNZ had their bi-monthly committee meeting last night and it was agreed to bring forward the next ‘members lounge’ discussion with a focus on biochar & biomass residue management. Keep a lookout for the notice and reach out if you want an invitation but are not a current BNNZ member.

RNZ on biochar… again

Apologies that this report is a bit out of sequence. I’m keen to keep a record of all NZ media reports on biochar posted here. Its great to see Kim Hill picking up this story but she was a bit light on her homework. The earlier Katheryn Ryan report had a bit more meat to it. Lets hope Kim digs a bit deeper next time.

Lutra on biosolids > biochar

Lutra YouTube channel has provided links to information and discussion on the new Logan City biosolids processing facility incorporating Pyrocal multi-hearth technology. I’ve posted a few times on this to the BNNZ FB page as the project developed. Its great to see this discussion happening in NZ and thanks to WaterNZ latest newsletter where it was flagged.

The discussion is split into two short video clips.

Radio NZ on biochar

The image link above leads to Katheryn Ryan’s interview with James Dicey and Prof. Stephen Joseph during his recent NZ speaking tour and Fieldays visit. Apologies for not posting here earlier. It has been shared on the BNNZ FB page and will hopefully, soon be in the BNNZ media library.