2, 4-D, Atrazine, herbicide efficacy, sorption, speed of germination
Biochar, a by-product of pyrolysis made from a wide array of plant biomass when producing biofuels, is a proposed soil amendment to improve soil health. This study measured herbicide sorption and efficacy when soils were treated with low (1% w/w) or high (10% w/w) amounts of biochar manufactured from different feedstocks [maize (Zea mays) stover, switchgrass (Panicum vigatum), and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)], and treated with different post-processing techniques. Twenty-four hour batch equilibration measured sorption of 14C-labelled atrazine or 2,4-D to two soil types with and without biochar amendments. Herbicide efficacy was measured with and without biochar using speed of seed germination tests of sensitive species. Biochar amended soils sorbed more herbicide than untreated soils, with major differences due to biochar application rate but minor differences due to biochar type or post-process handling technique. Biochar presence increased the speed of seed germination compared with herbicide alone addition. These data indicate that biochar addition to soil can increase herbicide sorption and reduce efficacy. Evaluation for site-specific biochar applications may be warranted to obtain maximal benefits without compromising other agronomic practices.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B
DOI of Published Version
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Sharon A. Clay, Kaitlynn K. Krack, Stephanie A. Bruggeman, Sharon Papiernik & Thomas E. Schumacher (2016) Maize, switchgrass, and ponderosa pine biochar added to soil increased herbicide sorption and decreased herbicide efficacy, Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B, 51:8, 497-507, DOI: 10.1080/03601234.2016.1170540