Science Inventory

Carrot, Corn, Lettuce and Soybean Nutrient Contents are Affected by Biochar

Citation:

Olszyk, D., Mark G Johnson, T. Shiroyama, J. Novak, K. Cantrell, AND D. Watts. Carrot, Corn, Lettuce and Soybean Nutrient Contents are Affected by Biochar. Biochar 2016: The Synergy of Science and Industry, Corvallis, OR, August 22 - 25, 2016.

Impact/Purpose:

Biochar is the carbon-rich material remaining after pyrolysis of cellulosic and manure feedstocks. It has potential as a soil amendment to sequester carbon and to improve soil water-holding and nutrient properties- thereby enhancing plant growth. However, biochar produced from some feedstocks also could adversely affect crop quality by changing soil pH and reducing nutrients in plant tissues. To evaluate these effects of biochar on the nutrient quality of four crops, we conducted a study with pots in the greenhouse using carrot, corn, lettuce and soybean. Plants were grown in one of two sandy soils from South Carolina, along with biochar (1% by weight) produced from two types of manure, poultry litter and swine solids; two types of cellulose, switchgrass and pine chips; and two blends of pine chips plus poultry litter. Each of the feedstocks and feedstock blends was produced at 350, 500, and 700 ̊ C to determine impact of pyrolysis temperature on the effects of the biochar. The type of crop, soil type, and feedstock source and production temperature all affected concentrations of nutrients in leaf tissue. These results indicate that plant leaf tissue nutrient quality is impacted by the type of biochar and its pyrolysis temperature. Thus, when using biochar as a soil amendment, the potential nutrient changes must not only be considered during the production of the crops, but are also important for the nutritive value of the crops when used for direct or indirect human consumption. This presentation supports research under SHC 3.63.

Description:

Biochar, the carbon-rich material remaining after pyrolysis of cellulosic and manure feedstocks, has the potential as a soil amendment to sequester carbon and to improve soil water-holding and nutrient properties- thereby enhancing plant growth. However, biochar produced from some feedstocks also could adversely affect crop quality by changing soil pH and reducing nutrients (e.g., Ca, K, Mg, N, Na, and P) in plant tissues. To evaluate effects of biochar on the nutrient quality of four crops, we conducted a greenhouse study using pots with: carrot (Daucus carota cv. Tendersweet), corn (Zea mays, cv. Golden Bantam), lettuce (Lactuca sativa, cv. Black-Seeded Simpson) and soybean (Glycine max cv. Viking 2265). Plants were grown in one of two South Carolina sandy Coastal Plain soils (Norfolk and Coxville Soil Series), along with biochar (1% by weight) produced from pine chips (PC), poultry litter (PL), swine solids (SS), switchgrass (SG), and two blends of pine chips plus poultry litter (PC/PL, 50/50% and 80/20%). Each of the feedstocks and feedstock blends was pyrolyzed at 350, 500, and 700 ̊ C to produce the biochar used to amend the Norfolk and Coxville soils. Effects of biochar on leaf nutrients (% dry weight) statistically varied with species, soil, feedstock and temperature and nutrient. For carrot and lettuce, the PL, PL/PC, and SS biochars generally decreased leaf N, Ca, Mg, and P; while PL and PL/PC increased K and Na. Biochars had little effect on leaf N for corn, but PL, PL/PC, and SS biochars tended to increase N for soybean. Other leaf nutrient responses varied among soils and biochars for corn and soybean. Thus, our results indicate that plant tissue nutrient quality is impacted by the type of biochar and its pyrolysis temperature during production.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 08/25/2016
Record Last Revised: 08/26/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 325410