Regarding application of Terra Preta to the Alkaline soils, yesterday I had been to
I explained the farmers regarding the use and application of Terra Preta for treating the alkaline soils. Before that some char pieces were brought for demonstrating the use and good qualities of char. Using the high resolution imageries of Google the fields with intense alkaline soils were identified. From those selected areas four farmers have come forward to try this method in their half to one acre size fields. Regarding the application, as there is abundant availability of Prosopis in the village, this is an easy method for them. The logistics and the cost of char was discussed, they were able to sell char @Rs. 0.2$ (USD) per kg. For applying about 1500 kgs of Char per acre, it would cost them about Rs. 300$ (USD). Which seems to be on the higher side for the poor farmers, so another alternative was making charcoal from the thin stems of Prosopis a wasted product in the charcoal making process and there was plenty of such dry twigs / stems of Prosopis available. Some farmers in the recent past trying to reclaim their Prosopis lands have used machinery and there are lots of heavy uprooted root stocks, with soil attached. They are burning such root stocks in the respective fields. This kind of burnt material consists of
- partial biochar
- well burnt soil and
- plenty of ash
The farmers have agreed to put this resultant material in their fields, which is of no cost and available in plenty. I am only hopeful that the above resultant material is acidic and would improve the soil quality. As the farmers have not started the process yet, the timely advice from you all would be helpful.
The soil testing results and the suggested recommendations (draft) are seen in this link: