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Great plains biochar conference 2024 - unlocking potential

Great plains biochar conference 2024 - unlocking potential

By Scout Nelson

Set for September 24–26, 2024, the inaugural Great Plains Biochar Conference will be hosted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the Nebraska Biochar Initiative, and the Nebraska Forest Service at the Graduate Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska.

This event aims to bring together a diverse group of professionals from various sectors including research, education, agriculture, production, and trade to discuss the full potential of biochar.

Biochar is a form of charcoal created from organic waste materials like wood residues, cornstalks, and grass clippings, produced under conditions with limited oxygen. Its use dates back to the indigenous communities in the Amazon, who created rich, fertile soils known as terra preta by incorporating charcoal and other materials into the naturally less fertile tropical soils.

This material is notable for its high organic carbon content, porosity, and longevity in soil, where it can resist decomposition for decades. This makes biochar not only an effective means of carbon storage but also a beneficial soil amendment that can enhance water and nutrient retention.

Its versatility extends to roles in remediation, storm water management, urban green spaces, construction materials, and compost production.

The conference will highlight biochar's growing significance in reducing the carbon footprint of municipal, industrial, and agricultural activities, and its emerging role in the carbon credit market.

“The city of Lincoln is currently building a biochar plant to supply the growing demand,” stated Michael Kaiser, an assistant professor for applied soil chemistry at the University of Nebraska.

Organizers of the event include Michael Kaiser, Nash Leef, owner of Flatwater Carbon; Kim Slezak, forest products specialist at the Nebraska Forest Service; and Frank E. Uhlarik, regional brownfields manager at Terracon Consultants.

For more information on the conference or to register, attendees are directed to the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture's website. These gathering promises to be a crucial platform for exchanging ideas and advancing the discussion on biochar's diverse applications and environmental benefits.

Photo Credit -nebraska-extenstion

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Categories: Nebraska, Education, General, Sustainable Agriculture

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