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Research Points to Biochar Climate Change Benefits

15 December 2011
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

AUSTRALIA - Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today welcomed the release of a report into the benefits of biochar in Australian farming, produced by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

The report, Biochar—Implications for agricultural productivity, finds biochar, a stable type of char made by burning organic materials such as wood or crop waste in a low oxygen environment, has the potential to improve agricultural productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Minister Ludwig said the report highlights the importance of further biochar research for Australian farming.

“The Australian Government is committed to improving agricultural productivity while assisting farmers and landholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Research currently underway will help to guide future discussions on the use of biochar for productivity improvements and climate change mitigation.

“In November I announced $2 million in competitive grants for biochar research under the Gillard Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative.

“These grants will fund the research that is needed to investigate how biochar can reduce carbon emissions, and to support the development of biochar offset methodologies.

“These methodologies will enable land managers to participate in carbon markets through the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) and receive an income for taking action to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions.”

The Biochar Capacity Building Program is a key part of the Australian Government’s $45.6 million CFI. It is one of several government programs that support new research, on-the-ground testing and demonstration of biochar in agriculture and forestry.

TheCropSite News Desk

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