Rock Phosphate and Biochar Effects on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Fertility in Southern Alberta Potato Field

  •  Adebusoye Onanuga    
  •  J. R. Weasel Fat    
  •  Roy Weasel Fat    


The application of biochar soil amendment and rock phosphate fertilizer to the soil could lead to achieving net zero emissions and food security; however, the effectiveness of using biochar and rock phosphate in southern Alberta brown chernozemic soil is not yet assessed. In the first trial of this study, varying levels of urea (N), with varying levels of biochar (B) were applied. The same level of rock phosphate (RP) and triple super phosphate (TSP) were applied to compare efficiency of the two fertilizers. The second trial involved applying the same nutrients, but with higher levels than the first trial. The results indicated that the fertilizer application rates did not affect the growth and yield of potatoes because of the application rates of the fertilizer and fertility status of the soil, whereas in the second trial, TSP and RP treatments had the same growth and yield. Furthermore, the high application rate of nitrogen fertilizer and RP with or without biochar in the potato plot emitted high nitrous oxide gas emissions while the low application rate of nitrogen fertilizer and RP kept the carbon dioxide in the soil. Nevertheless, in the second experiment, the application of biochar and rock phosphate reduced nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions. We observed high residual nitrogen and manganese nutrients after harvest in the plot treated to rock phosphate and biochar. Therefore, rock phosphate and biochar have the potential to increase food production and mitigate climate change.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.