Biochar and compost application effects on grapevine growth and physiology
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Biochar has the potential to be a local and renewable resource produced from waste byproducts that can replenish soils and build fertility. The objective of this research was to determine if biochar is a useful soil amendment in Missouri vineyards. Studies were conducted in 2015 and 2016 to investigate possible benefits of biochar, compost, and biochar mixed with compost at selected application rates to vineyard soils. Results indicate that the benefit of biochar and compost were rate dependent in the 2015 study. In this study, one-year-old ‘Valvin Muscat’ grapevines growing in a soilless media amended with ≤70 % biochar resulted in reduced leaf number, area, and weight, shoot growth, and root weight. An overall reduction in biomass production and nutrient accumulation was observed when plants were grown soil amended with high rates of biochar. However, when the application rate was reduced, fewer differences were detected. In the 2016 study, soil fertility and water availability were not limiting, therefore, no significant benefit or reduction in plant growth and development of oneyear- old ‘Norton’ and ‘Chardonel’ grapevines were observed. Surface application of biochar may have minimal impact on grapevine growth and development in mid- Missouri.
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