BioRich: Feeding Biochar to Ruminants

BioRich: Feeding Biochar to Ruminants

Funder

Innovative Farmers

Value

£1,950

Duration

October 2018 - October 2019

Collaborators

Richard Copely of Manor Farm Tree Services Ltd

Team

Donna Udall

CAWR Themes

Resilient Food and Water Systems in Practice

As a result of our work with biochar, in 2018 Jerry Alford, of Innovative Farmers, contacted Donna to see if she could assist on an Innovative Farmers project. They had a group of farmers interested using biochar as a cattle feed supplement. There was already some evidence that adding biochar to cattle diets had some beneficial health outcomes for the cows, but Innovative Farmers were keen to find out if there were benefits in terms of emissions to air from manure and whether biochar and manure combined to improve grass growth.

Project Objectives: 

Agriculture now finds itself in a changing landscape where old methods and expectations are now being questioned, be they emissions from agricultural practices, antibiotic and chemical anthelmintic use, the general sustainability of stock rearing practices, soil erosion and carbon levels as well as the changing trading conditions that are likely to affect upland Wales particularly. It is therefore critical that new, holistic, methods are found to improve animal and soil health whilst benefiting the environment and financially supporting farmers.

Thus, this trial aims to find a use for biochar, as a by-product of charcoal making or renewable energy production, which also delivers improved animal health and soil carbon levels with the potential additional benefits of decreased anthelmintic use, soil improvement and climate change mitigation. The trial will create and transfer knowledge and innovations, strengthening links between the public, farmers, charitable and academic institutions.

  1. To engage farmers in finding climate change and sustainable agricultural practices
  2. To investigate the effect of biochar and manure mixtures on soil health and carbon storage in soil.

Impact:

This project has already directly engaged with both the general public and with farmers though, for instance, a 9 minute item on Countryfile and through various press articles.

For more information on this project contact Donna Udall

DonnaCountryfileNov19Cropped.jpg

November 2019: We are currently at the second stage with a farmer led bid submission into the European Innovation Partnership with a project entitled; Feeding Biochar to Ruminants.

 

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