Biochar Dosage Impact on Physical Soil Properties and Crop Status
¹Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Machinery Utilization, Kamýcká 129, CZ16500 Prague, Czech Republic
²Crop Research Institute, Division of Crop Protection and Plant Health, Drnovská 507/73, CZ16106 Prague, Czech Republic
In the context of climate change and the ongoing population growth, current agriculture inevitably faces many challenges. Long periods of drought are often followed by shorter periods of heavy precipitation and degraded soil is often unable to retain the rainfall water properly. Apart from common organic fertilizers, soil amendments are currently considered a promising solution that might improve soil quality. The most discussed one is biochar, a natural soil conditioner that might under certain conditions improve soil properties. This study is based on the experiment that was established in 2017 in order to determine the impact of biochar dosage and it’s effect over time. Four parcels approximately 15×30 m were designed in Rapotín, Czech Republic. Each of them was treated with a specific dose of biochar (15, 30, 45, 60 t ha-1), and selected soil physical properties such as penetration resistance and reduced bulk density were then measured at the beginning of the cropping season 2019. In addition, vegetation properties were investigated with the use of handheld sensors repeatedly during the season on winter wheat. The dataset contained information about chlorophyll and nitrogen content as well as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index estimations. Acquired values were later compared with the results obtained from the fifth variant founded in 2014 with a 15 t ha-1 dose and from the control variant. Although the dosage levels applied were quite substantial, no significant difference was found when evaluating selected soil properties. Crop response gave similar results. Any of the examined characteristics differed among the 2017 variants and control. Nevertheless, when compared to the 2014 variant, clearly different results were detected. Thus, this study concluded that the effect of biochar dosage is might not be as significant factor, however, the time effect likely is. Therefore, the study has to continue and soil/crop properties will be observed in the upcoming season as well.