Lukáš Trakal was awarded a Ministry of Agriculture project (NAZV)

This project offers a multidisciplinary solution to currently highlighted issues such as drought, sustainable agriculture, limitation of nutrient leakage from soil, and also reducing CO2 emissions into the air. All of the above mentioned issues are linked to a common denominator, such as climate change and its associated impacts. This topic is primarily focused on the possibilities of reducing the negative impact of drought episodes in the field of agriculture. For a successful drought resolution, it is important to understand the key soil processes which can minimize the negative impact of climate change. One of these key processes are the hydraulic properties of soils as a set of soil characteristics responsible for water distribution in the soil. These parameters are variable in time and have a number of factors, one of this is the presence of organic material. This topic is, therefore, focused on the determination of factors responsible for the natural seasonal variability of hydraulic properties and the subsequent solution how to increase soil retention after the biochar application.

The main aim of this project is to enhance water/nutrients retention in soil with its consequent impact on the fertility of selected crops in agriculturally utilized area using biochar (obtained from waste biomass). Specifically, this comprehensive study (see the Figure) includes: (1) Effective reuse of waste biomass (farmer Roman Noll) to produce biochar (HEDVIGA GROUP SC.); (2) with the associated optimization of the biochar production (ISPF CAS) in order to significantly increase the retention of water/nutrients in the soil (CULS Prague); and (3) the use of this knowledge to apply the biochar into selected soils (intensively used in agriculture), which have been affected by drought (farmer Roman Noll).