Poultry Litter Biochar Fertiliser for Horticulture


This trial examined the effect of applying poultry litter biochar to soil in a horticultural system and its effect on nutrient availability, plant health and yield.

Spreading biochar under a greenhouse using a mechanical spreader


The trial was held on a property in Walkaway, Western Australia on very a very sandy soil, low in nutrients. Being on a fertigation system, the owner of the farm was concerned that nutrients applied were leaching through the soil profile before the plants had a chance to use them.

Our assumption, was that by adding biochar to the soil it would slow the leaching process, assisting in fertiliser efficiency and improving soil & crop health.The trial also had the added benefit of potentially value adding poultry waste, currently a low value commodity and often a problem for poultry farmers.

Biochar was applied and worked into soil at a medium and a high rate combined with a traditional cucumber starter fertiliser at full rate and low rate. There were also two treatments of biochar alone, at a high rate and very high rate.


The trial demonstrated that the addition of a high rate of biochar with a normal starter fertiliser was superior in yield to the average of the two controls.

The trial also demonstrated that the addition of a low rate of biochar and a low rate of fertiliser was the most economic response.

For more information on this trial including rates and results please read our Poultry Litter Biochar for Horticulture – Interim Report