Improving Crop Productivity in Central Labrador’s Sandy Soil

Oct 7, 2018

Most people associate charcoal with cooking food over a barbecue — not growing it. But for the past five years, Memorial University’s Labrador Institute has been experimenting with a special type of charcoal.

Biochar is being tested to see if it can improve crop productivity in the sandy soil of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. So far, the tests at a local experimental field have shown good results.

“In our case, I have seen that it improves the soil pH, reduces the acidity of the soil. In Goose Bay soil, it is mostly acidic,” [says] soil scientist Joinal Abedin.

“So biochar can improve or increase the soil pH so that you might not need extra lime. And another thing, it improves the soil physical conditions or the holding capacity, because sandy soil can’t hold water much.”

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