The resurgence of hemp production in the US has brought about a lot of new supportive agricultural industry around it – Biochar Now out of Loveland, Colorado has revived a centuries old practice with their multi-patented manufacturing technology to aid in the farming process of this high maintenance crop.
Biochar is a highly adsorbent, specially-produced charcoal with unique properties that is used across a multi-industrial setting in a variety of means ranging from soil reclamation to algae removal programs. With more specialty agriculture, like hemp, increasing in popularity, the benefits of this organic-based solution are being proven to aid with exponentially higher yields in an economical fashion.
The general concept dates back over 5,000 years to the agricultural practices of indigenous Amazonian tribes. Modern technology and political push has reformed it into a suitable ecological alternative for oil & gas, railroad, plastic, concrete, and asphalt companies with EPA compliance and soil amendment. In high value crop production it’s a one-time investment proven to improve the soil, aid in nutrient absorption of the plant, and result in overall increased growth of the crop.
As hemp is a high maintenance crop in terms of maintaining the legal standards of THC, growers need to take into consideration how big a part nutrients play in the growth cycle and quality of the resulting harvest or a crop can quickly go hot. Biochar helps mediate this by binding nutrients from the fertilizer and keeping there at the root zone for the plant to take up when and wherever it needs it. Its high level of absorbency helps structure water usage as well.
Biochar Now’s patented technology converts agricultural and forestry waste into a pure carbon through a process called pyrolysis. This is where the biomass is heated in an oxygen-deprived environment to break down the cells and convert the cellular structure into pure carbon, leaving the part that has special properties which are beneficial to the growth of the plant. These parts bind nutrients, absorb water and release it back to the plant, inviting in microbes to house in it to make a living soil. Growers work the 2-3% of product by volume into the root zone as a “one size fits all” additive that doesn’t affect pH levels. When the fertilizer or manure is added it binds the nutrients and remains there for the plant to take them up when and wherever and prevents the nutrients from washing out into the water table or nearby water sources causing algae blooms. The added benefit of its water retention properties is that it helps structure and decrease water usage by almost half, making it a beneficial choice in drier climates especially. With a 17 thousand year half-life in soil, the product is a one-and-done application and hemp customers see a return on investment within the first harvest, increasing their biomass yields 200-300% in a single season. An added benefit is that it doesn’t require any specialized equipment in the application process as the company provides a variety of sizes they can recommend to fit pre-existing equipment.
Biochar Now prides itself in holding more environmental approvals that any other company in their industry and as the technology is becoming more increasingly used and accepted, they are currently undergoing significant expansion throughout North America to bring this highly restorative product to more industries. As the hemp industry grows, greater efforts towards increased sustainability are being made in grow processes across the board. Biochar Now’s research and technological development towards sequestering carbon emissions and amending both air and soil is revolutionizing industries across the board and ushering in new growth for hemp.
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