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Soil Scientists Hope for Green-Black Agricultural Revolution

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Agricultural Research Centre is hoping for a revolution in Estonian soil science based on the use of biocoal as a soil additive. 

According to Märt Nõges, the centre's deputy director, the most fertile soils in the world (Terra Preta and the Ukrainian and American black soils) have been proven to be directly correlated with their carbon content, the daily Saarte Hääl reported. 

"The worse the soil, the better the effect of the biocoal," said Nõges, who said that biocoal could increase grain yields by 1.5–2 times. 

The Agricultural Research Centre is seeking funding from the agricultural research program for a test field to compare results of biocoal treatment in conventional, organic and minimized cultivation. 
Biocoal can be made from hay or straw by heating such biomass in the absence of oxygen, similarly to making charcoal from wood.
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