In early 2014, a member of the company attended a workshop in Alice Springs hosted by Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) about using biochar to build and improve soils and sequester carbon. Biochar is a stable form of charcoal produced from heating natural organic materials in a high temperature, low oxygen process known as pyrolysis.
TNRM have initiated the first industry level trials of biochar in the NT and we are very excited that following discussions at the workshop our farm has been included as a trial site. We are particularly interested in monitoring the effect of biochar on alkaline soils as well as discovering what benefits biochar might provide for a perennial crop such as dates.
Currently, we have nine clusters of three trees involved in the trial. Each cluster includes one tree with 6kg of biochar added to the root zone (30T per hectare), one tree with 2kg (10T per hectare) of boichar added to the root zone and one control.
We are also trialling medium scale biochar kilns to produce char from our huge annual harvest of palm fronds. It is an important part of our farming practice to return as much carbon back into the soil as possible.
More information about the project can be found on the Territory NRM website