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A Field Experiment on Enhancement of Crop Yield by Rice Straw and Corn Stalk-Derived Biochar in Northern China

Yang, Yang, Ma, Shaoqiang, Zhao, Yi, Jing, Ming, Xu, Yongqiang, Chen, Jiawei
Sustainability 2015 v.7 no.10 pp. 13713-13725
Inceptisols, agricultural land, autumn, biochar, biomass, burning, corn, corn stover, crop yield, feedstocks, field experimentation, nitrogen, pH, peanuts, phosphorus, potassium, rice straw, soil amendments, soil water content, spring, summer, sweet potatoes, winter, winter wheat, China
Biochar, a green way to deal with burning and burying biomass, has attracted more attention in recent years. To fill the gap of the effects of different biochar on crop yield in Northern China, the first field experiment was conducted in farmland located in Hebei Province. Biochars derived from two kinds of feedstocks (rice straw and corn stalk) were added into an Inceptisols area with different dosages (1 ton/ha, 2 ton/ha or 4 ton/ha) in April 2014. The crop yields were collected for corn, peanut, and sweet potato during one crop season from spring to autumn 2014, and the wheat from winter 2014 to summer 2015, respectively. The results showed biochar amendment could enhance yields, and biochar from rice straw showed a more positive effect on the yield of corn, peanut, and winter wheat than corn stalk biochar. The dosage of biochar of 2 ton/ha or 1 ton/ha could enhance the yield by 5%–15% and biochar of 4 ton/ha could increase the yield by about 20%. The properties of N/P/K, CEC, and pH of soils amended with biochar were not changed, while biochar effects could be related to improvement of soil water content.