Can No-Till Farming with Biochar Increase the Growth of Soybean Plants?

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Bethany Cox, Alliance, OH
There is a growing global interest in reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.  Along with that interest is the use of biofuels as opposed to fossil fuels.  Soil conservationists and farmers are seeking cost effective ways to prevent soil erosion in croplands. Biochar can sequester carbon in the soil, while enhancing plant growth. Biochar is a charcoal that is tilled into the ground as a fertilizer to assist with plant growth. No-Till farming with the use of biochar can sequester carbon in the soil while promoting the greatest growth of soybean plants. Pots were labeled and placed in trays. Plants received eighty ml. of water daily.  Measurements were recorded. The control group (only generic potting soil) showed an average growth of 625.75cm in stem height, 74 leaves, 50.6cm total leaf width and 54.5cm total leaf length.  The biochar only group recorded 778cm in stem height, 92 leaves, 47.2 cm total leaf width and 56.1 cm total leaf length. The No-Till/No Biochar group's growth was 716.25cm stem height, 80 leaves, 54.25cm total leaf width and 50.95cm total leaf length.  The No-Till Year 2 Biochar group had 875.25cm stem height, 102 leaves, 56.7cm total leaf width and 54.85 cm total leaf length. The results confirm that biochar with no-till farming produces the greatest growth in soybean plants.