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Feeding Cattle Biochar on BBC Countryfile

Updated: May 13, 2021

The BBC's Countryfile on Sunday the 10th November, featured a section about farmer Richard Copley in South West Lincolnshire who has been feeding Biochar to a section of his 60 strong herd of cattle.

It's part of a trial that is looking at whether biochar can reduce methane emissions and make cattle dung less harmful to waterways by retaining nutrients and preventing fertiliser runoff. The dung samples are taken from the cows and examined by scientists at Coventry University.

They made a great job of highlighting some of the benefits of biochar, such as it storing carbon from the atmosphere and reducing acidity in the cattle's stomachs to benefit the microbes that break down the feed, which results in healthier cattle.

Although various other benefits of the process where missed. For example once the biochar has been passed through the animal its manure is distributed and the biochar is added to the farms soil aiding its ability to store nutrients and water, which in turn results in much healthier and more productive grazing.

You can watch the show on BBC iPlayer here. The section begins at 36.30 mins and ends at 45.10 mins.

Unfortunately the piece might of given the impression that there is one lone scientist working in the field who has yet to prove its worth. This is not the case as research has been conducted all over the world with Australia for one, much more advanced than the UK in recognising charcoals benefits;

In addition there are already farmers in the UK embracing charcoal as a feed supplement with one here in Dorset in particular feeding his dairy herd our charcoal and seeing; healthier, calmer cows, having better feed uptake, firmer discharges and knowing when spreading muck on his fields that he has added super charged carbon which in turn aids grass growth!



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