Sustainable Farming: A Biochar Guide by ANZBIG for New Zealand Farmers

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ANZBIG – The Australia New Zealand Biochar Industry Group has released their Farmer’s Guide to Making and Using Biochar after several years of development. This resource compiles the knowledge and experiences of gardeners, farmers, and researchers who have utilized biochar to grow crops in various settings globally. 

The free manual incorporates traditional practices, modern innovations, and cutting-edge research on biochar production and application. The ANZBIG shared that the guide complements a variety of other, more specialized publications.

Biochar is organic material that has been heated in the absence of oxygen, resulting in a product with documented benefits such as enhancing crop production, boosting plant disease resilience, decontaminating soil, and trapping carbon dioxide.

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In the past 5 years, ANZBIG has offered training programs focused on biochar design, production, and utilization. The guide was created as a response to the demand from course participants, who expressed a desire for detailed instructions and best practices for implementing biochar. 

The curated collection of information covers various aspects, among which biomass pyrolysis, indigenous production practices, biochar properties after interactions with soils, compost, and animals, as well as the impacts of biochar on crop production and soil properties. 

The manual also offers information on biochar in sustainable farming and carbon capture and examines real-life examples that can be beneficial for those interested in adopting this method in their agricultural practices.

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The ANZBIG guide goes beyond just providing information—it also encourages collaboration and feedback from a variety of sources. The manual has been distributed for peer review to scholars, farmers, and experts in biochar, and the team responsible for it will revise the content based on the feedback received. This ensures that the guide is not only informative but also reflective of the latest advancements in sustainable farming practices.

The funding and backing for this initiative were provided by a range of organizations, including the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Southern Cross University, the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, Earthbanc, the Australian New Zealand Biochar Industry Group (ANZBIG), as well as authors Stephen Joseph and Paul Taylor.

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