Seed Bed: Figuring out the benefits of biochar

The value of char is obvious in tropical soils, where it allows continuous cultivation. Could it also to help improve soil health and enable carbon sequestration in Ontario?


There has been lots of chatter about biochar from the incurably enthusiastic as the “next big thing” in agriculture. So far, very little experimentation has been done with biochar under Ontario conditions, so we are in a situation where enthusiasm exceeds understanding.

Fortunately, though, there doesn’t appear to be any risk of harming our soil by adding biochar, but it will take some work to determine if the benefits claimed for this product are real.

Better Farming - January 2009