27 minutes | Apr 15th 2021

106: What? Bury Charcoal in the Vineyard?

What, bury charcoal in the vineyard? Biochar is a specialized form of charcoal made from waste woody biomass at high temperature in the absence of oxygen. We know soil organic matter is important for the health of any crop. It turns out the use of charwood (biochar) goes back to ancient civilizations and it can be found naturally in soils from fire events. Doug Beck, Science Officer at Monterey Pacific in Monterey California, recently conducted a four-year trial to test the impacts of biochar and compost as soil amendments on wine grape growth, water use, yield, and water quality. This is an excerpt from his presentation at the Sustainable Ag Expo in November 2020. This fascinating trial showed that the addition of biochar and compost to the soil improves nutrient efficiency, improves water holding capacity, and positively impacted yields. References: 56: Conservation Burning and Biochar (Podcast) “Biochar increases vineyard productivity without affecting grape quality: Results from a four years field experiment in Tuscany” | Scholarly article California Biochar Association “The Conservation Burn Technique” | Vineyard Team Technical Article SIP Certified Sonoma Biochar Initiative Sustainable Ag Expo Vineyard Team Educational Scholarship
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