Topics

FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States #enhancedefficiencyfertilizer


Harry Groot
 


Passing this along as an opportunity to highlight biochar-enhanced soil amendments.


From: USDA Office of Communications <feedback@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 10:06 AM
To: harry@...
Subject: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Competition seeks proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies

 

EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

WASHINGTON (August 26, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, a joint EPA-USDA partnership and competition to advance agricultural sustainability in the United States. The competition includes two challenges that seek proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies to maintain or improve crop yields while reducing the impacts of fertilizers on the environment.

 

“The shared goal here is to accelerate the development of next generation fertilizers for corn production that can either maintain or increase crop yields while reducing environmental impacts to our air, land, and water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

 

“USDA is committed to encouraging the development of new technologies and practices to ensure that U.S. agriculture is socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable for years to come,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “This challenge will stimulate innovation and aligns with USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda announced earlier this year.”

 

“By evaluating the efficacy of existing technologies while sparking research and development of new technologies, these challenges explore the potential innovation that can result from academia, industry, government, and NGOs working together to address the complex issues related to excess nutrients in our environment,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and EPA Science Advisor.

 

Along with EPA and USDA, the competition is coordinated with The Fertilizer Institute, the International Fertilizer Development Center, the National Corn Growers Association, and The Nature Conservancy.

 

The first challenge, the EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge, aims to identify existing Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEFs) that meet or exceed certain environmental and agro-economic criteria. EEF is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment. This challenge will not have a monetary prize, but winners will receive scientific evaluation of their product and recognition from EPA, USDA, and other collaborators and participants.

 

The second challenge, the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge, aims to generate new concepts for novel technologies that can help address environmental concerns surrounding agriculture practices while maintaining or increasing crop yields. A panel of expert judges will review the submissions. Each winner will receive at least $10,000.

 

The Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges open today, August 26, 2020. Registrants must submit their entries by October 30, 2020, for the EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge and by November 30, 2020, for the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge. Winners will be announced in the winter of 2021.

 

An informational webinar will be held on September 24, 2020 at 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. ET.

 

More information about the challenges and the webinar is available at www.epa.gov/innovation/next-gen-fertilizer-challenges.

 

#

 

 

Department of Agriculture | 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250

 


Tom Miles
 

Harry,

 

As I read this I was wondering who in the biochar community would have the capital to either develop a biochar based fertilizer for the EEF challenge, or to formulate biochar based fertilizers for the NextGen conceptual challenge.

 

Do the biochar based fertilizers developed and in use in Australia and China meet EEF criteria? ““Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer” (EEF) is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment.”

https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/eefs-environmental-agronomic-challenge/

 

Note the informational webinars scheduled for:

Can the biochar based fertilizers used today meet the criteria of the NextGen fertilizer Innovation Challenge?

 

The criteria for each challenge are both interesting and relevant to all biochar based solutions.

 

Tom

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Harry Groot
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2020 8:25 AM
To: biochar@groups.io
Subject: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 


Passing this along as an opportunity to highlight biochar-enhanced soil amendments.

 

 

From: USDA Office of Communications <feedback@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 10:06 AM
To: harry@...
Subject: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Competition seeks proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies

 

EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

WASHINGTON (August 26, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, a joint EPA-USDA partnership and competition to advance agricultural sustainability in the United States. The competition includes two challenges that seek proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies to maintain or improve crop yields while reducing the impacts of fertilizers on the environment.

 

“The shared goal here is to accelerate the development of next generation fertilizers for corn production that can either maintain or increase crop yields while reducing environmental impacts to our air, land, and water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

 

“USDA is committed to encouraging the development of new technologies and practices to ensure that U.S. agriculture is socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable for years to come,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “This challenge will stimulate innovation and aligns with USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda announced earlier this year.”

 

“By evaluating the efficacy of existing technologies while sparking research and development of new technologies, these challenges explore the potential innovation that can result from academia, industry, government, and NGOs working together to address the complex issues related to excess nutrients in our environment,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and EPA Science Advisor.

 

Along with EPA and USDA, the competition is coordinated with The Fertilizer Institute, the International Fertilizer Development Center, the National Corn Growers Association, and The Nature Conservancy.

 

The first challenge, the EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge, aims to identify existing Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEFs) that meet or exceed certain environmental and agro-economic criteria. EEF is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment. This challenge will not have a monetary prize, but winners will receive scientific evaluation of their product and recognition from EPA, USDA, and other collaborators and participants.

 

The second challenge, the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge, aims to generate new concepts for novel technologies that can help address environmental concerns surrounding agriculture practices while maintaining or increasing crop yields. A panel of expert judges will review the submissions. Each winner will receive at least $10,000.

 

The Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges open today, August 26, 2020. Registrants must submit their entries by October 30, 2020, for the EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge and by November 30, 2020, for the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge. Winners will be announced in the winter of 2021.

 

An informational webinar will be held on September 24, 2020 at 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. ET.

 

More information about the challenges and the webinar is available at www.epa.gov/innovation/next-gen-fertilizer-challenges.

 

#

 

 

Department of Agriculture | 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250

 


ROBERT W GILLETT
 

It looks like the fertilizer challenge was written with biochar in mind. Number 2 below looks like the biggest obstacle, i.e. cost. It depends on over how long a period ROI is measured.

Solution Must Have:

  1. Must improve environmental performance by reducing losses of N (and/or P) to the environment through any combination of reduced NH3 volatilization, N2O emission, N runoff or leaching, P runoff or P leaching, larger reductions will receive high ratings;
  2. Must improve agronomic performance by not reducing yield or increasing net farm costs in terms of return on investment (ROI), larger improvements will receive higher ratings;
  3. Must be applicable for use on corn in the United States;
  4. Must not be an EEF already on the market or near-market;
  5. Must ultimately be compatible with current agricultural machinery and practices used for common large scale production such as planters, fertilizer applicators or tillage equipment.

Nice to Have:

  1. Is applicable to other U.S. or global crops and soils;
  2. Does not leave toxic residues on or in the soil following use;
  3. Has a short timeline to market;
  4. Addresses more than one of the loss pathways identified above. 

More at: https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/next-gen-fertilizer-innovations-challenge/


mikethewormguy
 

Tom,

To Enhance the Efficiency of Fertilizers in corn maybe more about updating  growing practices than making a new fertilizer.

Biomass Char could help improve Fertilizer Use Efficiency by allowing corn growers to use less fertilizer thus reducing run off and improving profitability by avoiding costs. The ROI from a biomass char solution is cumulative over time across multiple growing cycles.....

One challenge is crafting a solution that the growers can afford, be willing to pay for, and that can be executed by the grower.

I am curious who is asking for the EEF ?  Is it the corn growers. ?  .....

my 2 cents,

Mike









Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


Tom Miles
 

Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers have been in the agricultural literature, such as the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America, for a few years. Fertilizer companies have launched several products which promote enhanced efficiency of one component or another. Major companies like Cargill and the National Corn Growers Association and soybean organizations support the Soil Health Partnership and Soil Health Initiative which promote EEF. There are likely many drivers, the runoff and leaching issues probably being the main ones.

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of mikethewormguy via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 5:48 AM
To: Biochar Group <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Tom,

 

To Enhance the Efficiency of Fertilizers in corn maybe more about updating  growing practices than making a new fertilizer.

 

Biomass Char could help improve Fertilizer Use Efficiency by allowing corn growers to use less fertilizer thus reducing run off and improving profitability by avoiding costs. The ROI from a biomass char solution is cumulative over time across multiple growing cycles.....

 

One challenge is crafting a solution that the growers can afford, be willing to pay for, and that can be executed by the grower.

 

I am curious who is asking for the EEF ?  Is it the corn growers. ?  .....

 

my 2 cents,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

 


Stephen Joseph
 

Hi Tom

Why dont you show them the results they are getting in China with adding biochar minerals to NPK with corn (maize).  last results I saw in China were about 15% yield improvement.

Regards
Stephen

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 2:27 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers have been in the agricultural literature, such as the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America, for a few years. Fertilizer companies have launched several products which promote enhanced efficiency of one component or another. Major companies like Cargill and the National Corn Growers Association and soybean organizations support the Soil Health Partnership and Soil Health Initiative which promote EEF. There are likely many drivers, the runoff and leaching issues probably being the main ones.

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of mikethewormguy via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 5:48 AM
To: Biochar Group <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Tom,

 

To Enhance the Efficiency of Fertilizers in corn maybe more about updating  growing practices than making a new fertilizer.

 

Biomass Char could help improve Fertilizer Use Efficiency by allowing corn growers to use less fertilizer thus reducing run off and improving profitability by avoiding costs. The ROI from a biomass char solution is cumulative over time across multiple growing cycles.....

 

One challenge is crafting a solution that the growers can afford, be willing to pay for, and that can be executed by the grower.

 

I am curious who is asking for the EEF ?  Is it the corn growers. ?  .....

 

my 2 cents,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

 


Tom Miles
 

Data talks. Where do we find it? : - )

 

Thanks

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Joseph
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 1:56 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Hi Tom

 

Why dont you show them the results they are getting in China with adding biochar minerals to NPK with corn (maize).  last results I saw in China were about 15% yield improvement.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 2:27 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers have been in the agricultural literature, such as the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America, for a few years. Fertilizer companies have launched several products which promote enhanced efficiency of one component or another. Major companies like Cargill and the National Corn Growers Association and soybean organizations support the Soil Health Partnership and Soil Health Initiative which promote EEF. There are likely many drivers, the runoff and leaching issues probably being the main ones.

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of mikethewormguy via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 5:48 AM
To: Biochar Group <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Tom,

 

To Enhance the Efficiency of Fertilizers in corn maybe more about updating  growing practices than making a new fertilizer.

 

Biomass Char could help improve Fertilizer Use Efficiency by allowing corn growers to use less fertilizer thus reducing run off and improving profitability by avoiding costs. The ROI from a biomass char solution is cumulative over time across multiple growing cycles.....

 

One challenge is crafting a solution that the growers can afford, be willing to pay for, and that can be executed by the grower.

 

I am curious who is asking for the EEF ?  Is it the corn growers. ?  .....

 

my 2 cents,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

 


Stephen Joseph
 

You need to write to Genxing Pan


On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 7:03 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Data talks. Where do we find it? : - )

 

Thanks

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Joseph
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 1:56 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Hi Tom

 

Why dont you show them the results they are getting in China with adding biochar minerals to NPK with corn (maize).  last results I saw in China were about 15% yield improvement.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 2:27 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers have been in the agricultural literature, such as the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America, for a few years. Fertilizer companies have launched several products which promote enhanced efficiency of one component or another. Major companies like Cargill and the National Corn Growers Association and soybean organizations support the Soil Health Partnership and Soil Health Initiative which promote EEF. There are likely many drivers, the runoff and leaching issues probably being the main ones.

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of mikethewormguy via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 5:48 AM
To: Biochar Group <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Tom,

 

To Enhance the Efficiency of Fertilizers in corn maybe more about updating  growing practices than making a new fertilizer.

 

Biomass Char could help improve Fertilizer Use Efficiency by allowing corn growers to use less fertilizer thus reducing run off and improving profitability by avoiding costs. The ROI from a biomass char solution is cumulative over time across multiple growing cycles.....

 

One challenge is crafting a solution that the growers can afford, be willing to pay for, and that can be executed by the grower.

 

I am curious who is asking for the EEF ?  Is it the corn growers. ?  .....

 

my 2 cents,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

 


Tom Miles
 

Will do.


Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Joseph
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 2:24 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

You need to write to Genxing Pan

 

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 7:03 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Data talks. Where do we find it? : - )

 

Thanks

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Stephen Joseph
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 1:56 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Hi Tom

 

Why dont you show them the results they are getting in China with adding biochar minerals to NPK with corn (maize).  last results I saw in China were about 15% yield improvement.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 2:27 AM Tom Miles <tmiles@...> wrote:

Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers have been in the agricultural literature, such as the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America, for a few years. Fertilizer companies have launched several products which promote enhanced efficiency of one component or another. Major companies like Cargill and the National Corn Growers Association and soybean organizations support the Soil Health Partnership and Soil Health Initiative which promote EEF. There are likely many drivers, the runoff and leaching issues probably being the main ones.

 

Tom

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of mikethewormguy via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2020 5:48 AM
To: Biochar Group <main@Biochar.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Tom,

 

To Enhance the Efficiency of Fertilizers in corn maybe more about updating  growing practices than making a new fertilizer.

 

Biomass Char could help improve Fertilizer Use Efficiency by allowing corn growers to use less fertilizer thus reducing run off and improving profitability by avoiding costs. The ROI from a biomass char solution is cumulative over time across multiple growing cycles.....

 

One challenge is crafting a solution that the growers can afford, be willing to pay for, and that can be executed by the grower.

 

I am curious who is asking for the EEF ?  Is it the corn growers. ?  .....

 

my 2 cents,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

 


mikethewormguy
 

Tom,

It may make more sense to focus on soybean than corn  in a corn/soybean grow rotation by improving residual soil nitrogen levels, as well as, looking at biochar enhanced annual rye grass fall plantings in regions where there would be winter kill thus setting the table for using a cost effective amt. of biochar for corn.

I could see applying a range of different biomass chars over a 2 year soybean/corn cycle that would benefit corn within grow cycle.

It's about growing better performance  soil which takes time........ 

my 2 cents,

Mike


Tom Miles
 

Promising suggestions. Soil Health Institute has been looking at enterprise budgets for various practices which may provide a tool for looking at the use of biochars and biochars and biochar based products. These will eventually be presented on their website as presented at their annual meeting in July. https://soilhealthinstitute.org/annual-meeting-2020/

 

I can imagine no-till drilling biochar and fertilizer (organic, inorganic), biochar-mineral based fertilizer, or similar materials will annual rye grass. If the  biochar component was 200-400 lbs per acre every two years it would exceed your target cost of $40/acre unless the benefits offset the costs. It certainly is worth looking at.     

 

Tom

 

 

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of mikethewormguy via groups.io
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2020 6:03 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Biochar] FW: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Tom,

It may make more sense to focus on soybean than corn  in a corn/soybean grow rotation by improving residual soil nitrogen levels, as well as, looking at biochar enhanced annual rye grass fall plantings in regions where there would be winter kill thus setting the table for using a cost effective amt. of biochar for corn.

I could see applying a range of different biomass chars over a 2 year soybean/corn cycle that would benefit corn within grow cycle.

It's about growing better performance  soil which takes time........ 

my 2 cents,

Mike


ROBERT W GILLETT
 

So much biochar utilization is happening in China. We've been hearing about their biochar-based slow-release fertilizers for a few years now. It is the biggest part of their biochar industry and now incorporated into their five-year plan as one of the top ten initiatives for agriculture. If anything could trigger a breakout for biochar in the U.S. right now, it seems that this (slow-release fertilizer) would be it. I know we are used to having China take the ideas away from us, but now the tables are turned. We will be taking ideas from them from now on. 

Though these thoughts from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt focused on artificial intelligence, they are also relevant to China's wider economy: https://medium.com/enrique-dans/has-china-already-won-you-bet-2e2f6b8cb299

The green revolution showed that we could lead in agtech. Can we now show how well we can follow?

Robert


James Bledsoe
 

We don't need no stinkin badges!
Bio-char soaked in bioinoculant is a final tillage input to be used as a kick starter on a Regenerative farm. There are working farmers showing remarkable increase in profits and acceptable yields with Regenerative Agriculture practices.
Simply planting more seeds and staying out of the way, farmers are growing healthy food at lower cost in both time and inputs.  Artificial inputs are a drain on the farmer and many like Gabe Brown are showing remarkable results by allowing nature to do what nature does.  Abundance comes from letting things grow.   The petrol infused agribusiness is going to try hard to sequester this farmer centric and farmer profiting practice.
Look up: No Till on the Plains,  Regenerating Soil With Diversity (RSWD)2018

On Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 8:25 AM Harry Groot <harry@...> wrote:

Passing this along as an opportunity to highlight biochar-enhanced soil amendments.


From: USDA Office of Communications <feedback@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 10:06 AM
To: harry@...
Subject: EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

Competition seeks proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies

 

EPA and USDA Announce Competition to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States

 

WASHINGTON (August 26, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, a joint EPA-USDA partnership and competition to advance agricultural sustainability in the United States. The competition includes two challenges that seek proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies to maintain or improve crop yields while reducing the impacts of fertilizers on the environment.

 

“The shared goal here is to accelerate the development of next generation fertilizers for corn production that can either maintain or increase crop yields while reducing environmental impacts to our air, land, and water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

 

“USDA is committed to encouraging the development of new technologies and practices to ensure that U.S. agriculture is socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable for years to come,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “This challenge will stimulate innovation and aligns with USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda announced earlier this year.”

 

“By evaluating the efficacy of existing technologies while sparking research and development of new technologies, these challenges explore the potential innovation that can result from academia, industry, government, and NGOs working together to address the complex issues related to excess nutrients in our environment,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and EPA Science Advisor.

 

Along with EPA and USDA, the competition is coordinated with The Fertilizer Institute, the International Fertilizer Development Center, the National Corn Growers Association, and The Nature Conservancy.

 

The first challenge, the EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge, aims to identify existing Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEFs) that meet or exceed certain environmental and agro-economic criteria. EEF is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment. This challenge will not have a monetary prize, but winners will receive scientific evaluation of their product and recognition from EPA, USDA, and other collaborators and participants.

 

The second challenge, the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge, aims to generate new concepts for novel technologies that can help address environmental concerns surrounding agriculture practices while maintaining or increasing crop yields. A panel of expert judges will review the submissions. Each winner will receive at least $10,000.

 

The Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges open today, August 26, 2020. Registrants must submit their entries by October 30, 2020, for the EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge and by November 30, 2020, for the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge. Winners will be announced in the winter of 2021.

 

An informational webinar will be held on September 24, 2020 at 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. ET.

 

More information about the challenges and the webinar is available at www.epa.gov/innovation/next-gen-fertilizer-challenges.

 

#

 

 

Department of Agriculture | 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250

 


ROBERT W GILLETT
 

James, 

I agree with you in spirit, but wonder about the time to transition to regenerative farming. I think it could be accelerated with a biochar-based fertilizer, which will probably use NPK unfortunately. However, 25% less NPK (which is how they did it in China, along with 5% clay) is better than nothing. Farmers who go regenerative have to gradually decrease fertilizer inputs while building up soil health. This would be a way to make that transition even more beneficial to the environment while boosting the biochar industry.

Robert


Albert Bates
 

To which I would add that when we visited the biofertilizer factory near Jianping they told us the biochar/NPK/wood vinegar blend was >15% more effective than 100% NPK and cost US$15/bag less. I think just that last number is what makes it so revolutionary. It is moving in to dominate the marketplace as a straight value proposition in the first year it is applied. This is why biochar fertilizer and fertilizer factories are expanding some 400% per year in China and will become a Belt and Road export market for them in places like India and Africa.

Albert

On 9/7/20 1:52 PM, ROBERT W GILLETT wrote:
James, 

I agree with you in spirit, but wonder about the time to transition to regenerative farming. I think it could be accelerated with a biochar-based fertilizer, which will probably use NPK unfortunately. However, 25% less NPK (which is how they did it in China, along with 5% clay) is better than nothing. Farmers who go regenerative have to gradually decrease fertilizer inputs while building up soil health. This would be a way to make that transition even more beneficial to the environment while boosting the biochar industry.

Robert
-- 
Cool Lab Belize Project Office
Gonzalo Guerrero 5
Holbox, Q.R. 77310 México
52-998-116-5532
albert@...


Kim Chaffee
 

To me, Albert’s post begs the question, is it time for us to approach the chemical fertilizer industry with a proposal?  We have the proof in China.  The legacy NPK manufacturers must see the writing on the wall.  The industry’s big players sponsor the Soil Health Institute.
Kim


On Sep 7, 2020, at 3:55 PM, Albert Bates <albert@...> wrote:

To which I would add that when we visited the biofertilizer factory near Jianping they told us the biochar/NPK/wood vinegar blend was >15% more effective than 100% NPK and cost US$15/bag less. I think just that last number is what makes it so revolutionary. It is moving in to dominate the marketplace as a straight value proposition in the first year it is applied. This is why biochar fertilizer and fertilizer factories are expanding some 400% per year in China and will become a Belt and Road export market for them in places like India and Africa.

Albert

On 9/7/20 1:52 PM, ROBERT W GILLETT wrote:
James, 

I agree with you in spirit, but wonder about the time to transition to regenerative farming. I think it could be accelerated with a biochar-based fertilizer, which will probably use NPK unfortunately. However, 25% less NPK (which is how they did it in China, along with 5% clay) is better than nothing. Farmers who go regenerative have to gradually decrease fertilizer inputs while building up soil health. This would be a way to make that transition even more beneficial to the environment while boosting the biochar industry.

Robert
-- 
Cool Lab Belize Project Office
Gonzalo Guerrero 5
Holbox, Q.R. 77310 México
52-998-116-5532
albert@...


mikethewormguy
 

Albert,

Remind me if in the blend of biochar/NPK/wood vinegar, is the biochar is wood based.

Starting with growers where they are at is a much better place to start than telling them to change all of their practices......

Mike


David Yarrow
 

i have every confidence that if the other "elements" essential to a regenerative soil plan were put in place, and in balance, and allowed to mature, NPK fertilizers would be obsolete – but likely so would industrial sale, mechanized agriculture.

at least a decade ago, the Nat. Science Foundation catalog of nitrogen-fixing microbes listed 250 organisms.  today, i helped a new urban farmer add 2 of them to his cover crop seed.  

next time he will have a spray bottle handy; i know a liquid trick to inject 5 more species into the mix.  that leaves how to recruit the other 243 into his badly abused soil – used to be the county fairgrounds, then athletic field, and tractor pulling contests.  clay hardpan like concrete.

wednesday 2 cubic yard of biochar arrives from Phil Blom, of TerraChar.  too bad after the field was tilled & cover crop seeded.  i have ready humic acid, humacarb, basalt rockdust, sea minerals, mycoapply, lactobacillus, borax.  Tony has a semi of quality Bluebird compost.  gotta get a big bag of kelp; love the stuff, i eat it.

for a green & peaceful planet,
david yarrow


On Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 1:52 PM ROBERT W GILLETT <themarvalus.wabio@...> wrote:
James, 

I agree with you in spirit, but wonder about the time to transition to regenerative farming. I think it could be accelerated with a biochar-based fertilizer, which will probably use NPK unfortunately. However, 25% less NPK (which is how they did it in China, along with 5% clay) is better than nothing. Farmers who go regenerative have to gradually decrease fertilizer inputs while building up soil health. This would be a way to make that transition even more beneficial to the environment while boosting the biochar industry.

Robert


David Yarrow
 

changing a farmer's farming is very personal, intimate, 
often similar to breaking addition.
you can't just tell them stuff or hand out paper or give great lectures.
if you're serious, you do it with them, step-by-step, the first time, and answer their questions.
then you answer at least a dozen phone calls in the growing season.
and visit the field to admire and discuss the results.

anyway, mike is right.
start growers off with some simple, cheap & easy carbon, like humic acid.
tell them to mix this ultrafine soluble carbon with their fertilizer.
guaranteed they will get better results with less fertilizer applied.
some fertilizer distributors are giving away humic to customers because they know it works.

then, as you admire the ripening crop, ask if he's ready to invest in his soil fertility, 
not just throw another wad of money in the ground year-after-year, 
but invest in tools to create long-term, sustainable, stable fertility.
if so, he is ready to talk about super-stable, long-term, complex carbon = biochar.

for a green & peaceful planet,
david yarrow


On Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 3:14 PM mikethewormguy via groups.io <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Albert,

Remind me if in the blend of biochar/NPK/wood vinegar, is the biochar is wood based.

Starting with growers where they are at is a much better place to start than telling them to change all of their practices......

Mike


Albert Bates
 

Mike,

Crop residues. The feedstocks are the starting point for the central planning. They place the fertilizer plant at the center of its foodshed, having calibrated the various residues of rotational cropping - millet, soy, rice, wheat, rye, barley, maize - to be available to make biochar and scaling the plant to that size, based on transport distances. The seasonal employment offered at the plant also factors into location of ecovillages of up 8000 residents complete with 4 season Chinese greenhouses for vegetables, aquaponics etc.  (See Dan Chiras's great new book on the Chinese Greenhouse). I separately toured vast areas that had recently converted entirely to agroforestry and presumedly those will be supplying a biowaste feedstock stream to a biochar facility too.

The growers we spoke with in the agroforested areas said they were very resistant at first and had to be trained and gain experience but now they think that system is much better and are glad for the switch. The grain farmers (sickles and scythes, not combines) who were living in ecovillages near the fertilizer plant also said their lives were much better now and they were very pleased with higher standards of living. They all wanted to show off their nice houses (with kitchen gardens) and invite us in for tea. I agree with David's comments about social inertia. In Tennessee we are surrounded by old order Amish. The young men took a decade or more watching me grow and sell shiitake from outdoor hardwood logs, before they tried it. The Chinese farmers are not offered a choice and their traditions go back a few thousand years before there were Amish, but they are sold on biochar now.

Albert


On 9/7/20 3:14 PM, mikethewormguy via groups.io wrote:
Albert,

Remind me if in the blend of biochar/NPK/wood vinegar, is the biochar is wood based.

Starting with growers where they are at is a much better place to start than telling them to change all of their practices......

Mike

--
BURN: Using Fire to Cool the Earth

Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology
Summertown TN 38483-0090