Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Vegetable Production
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Environmental concerns and the price of fossil fuels have encouraged research on technologies to utilize biomass in energy production. Some technologies being investigated for their potential to provide energy involve a process known as pyrolysis. One of the byproducts of pyrolysis is called biochar. Biochar has shown potential to improve plant and soil health on several unproductive soils around the world. Much of the research on the use of biochar in Iowa soils has been focused around agronomic crops with little research into how it may affect vegetable production systems.
Objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of using biochar as a soil amendment on bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L. Paladin) production in Iowa. The study investigated biochar’s effects on plant growth, yield, and soil nutrient retention.