top of page
Search

Letter to the CDFA

Nick,

I was given instruction to establish communication about a process involving net-negative carbon sequestration and CDFA Incentive program comments.

First I would like to establish what I am trying to accomplish here in this state.

Currently I am working at one of California's most unique farms in regards to carbon sequestration and biomass management. Robert Kaler, a well established community member in Chowchilla, CA has undertaken a tremendous burden. He began growing Paulownia Trees and accepting biomass residue to be processed into biochar, all in an effort to curb the effects of climate change and to restore carbon values within the soil. With good faith and without incentive.



The Paulownia tree is one of earth's fastest known growing trees, as well as being nitrogen and carbon fixating. The immense benefits of these trees are not to be underestimated, and I will be supply ample scientific knowledge to support this claim.

California's abundant sunshine makes our central valley region a mecca for the growth cycle and carbon sequestering for these trees. Although the quality of wood may not be superior to the east coast growers, it has incredible benefits for all kinds of carpentry needs and much more. The quick growth occurs as the leaves are a carbon sequestering powerhouse that literally scrubs the air through its massive leaves.

(Paulowinia Leaf)

Wherever Paulownia are growing the air quality increases, as well and the ground it's grown in. Each acre of trees can absorb 13 tons of harmful CO2 gases and particles from the air each year and each tree can release about 13 lbs of oxygen per day [23] . All this is made possible by the big leaves of the Paulownia tree that, for this reason, can be described as the “green lung” of our cities [1] .

Now as for fertilizing, they are high in valuable plant nutrients and host an array of beneficial microbes for soil remediation. The Paulownia spp. is one of the few species of tree that is characterized by the presence of a C4 photosynthesis pathway. These trees are involved in regulating the climate, absorbing significant amounts of carbon dioxide, and releasing a large amount of oxygen. Paulownia leaves have high protein, fats, sugars, and nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK) content (Liu et al. 2013). The nitrogen content in the leaves is comparable to the content of legumes leaves. [2] Paulownia leaves are used as animal feed and also as a green fertilizer, enriching the soil with organic matter (Popova and Baykov 2013). Due to its large amount of excreted metabolites, Paulownia tree species are used in the treatment of a variety of diseases in traditional medicine (Ayan et al. 2003). [2] Microbial communities in soil provide a vast array of benefits to soil fertility and ecological functionality (Łyszcz and Gałązka 2017). Microorganisms take an active part in the decomposition of organic matter and contribute to the circulation of elements in the soil (Grządziel and Gałązka 2018). Bacteria present on the leaves of trees are also characterized by a function of plant growth and defense promoters by synthesizing phytohormones and producing biosurfactants, phyto-active volatile organic compounds, enzymes, or precursors for secondary plant metabolites. The bacteria also fixes atmospheric nitrogen and controls plant diseases. The structural and functional characteristics of the microorganisms present on Paulownia leaves may prove to be valuable information that can be useful for characterizing the transformation of the green leaf mass into a valuable fertilizer fertilizing the soil. [2] This information has tremendous benefits in regards to generating soil microbes to assist in degradation of already existing organic matter.

The samples from the plantation established in Otrębusy revealed that the most dominant phylum of bacteria was Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. [2]


Figure 2 (list of compounds wihtin the paulownia leaf) from reference [2]

The Importance of assessing soil microbial colonies for regenerative agriculture cannot be stressed enough. The goal of agriculture heading into 2030 should be focused on generating biomes that are rich in beneficial bacteria to enhance the carbon cycle via exchange rate mechanisms. The relative abundance of major bacterial phyla in agricultural and natural soils from different regions is presented in Figure 5, The relative abundance of Acidobacteria was significantly greater in natural soils as compared to agricultural soils from arid (P < 0.001), continental (P < 0.0001), and temperate (P < 0.0001) regions. In arid regions, the relative abundance of Acidobacteriawas nearly three times greater in natural soils as compared to agricultural soils. Similar to other regions, our meta-analysis showed higher relative abundance of Acidobacteria in natural vs. agricultural soils in tropical regions, however, this was not statistically significant. Our meta-analysis revealed higher relative abundance of phylum Proteobacteria in natural soils as compared to agriculture soils from all the studied regions. This trend was significant in soil from continental (P < 0.01), temperate (P < 0.0001), and tropical regions (P < 0.01). Our analysis further revealed significantly higher relative abundance of Cyanobacteria in natural soils vs. agricultural soils from arid (P < 0.0001), continental (P < 0.01), and temperate (P < 0.01) regions. Interestingly in arid regions the relative abundance of this group was approximately 6 fold higher in natural as compared to agricultural soils. [3]


( Healthy Soil Microbiology ) Soil Carbon As the dominant land-use change during the past century, conversion of natural systems for agricultural production has greatly altered soil C dynamics at ecosystem, regional, and global scales (Foley et al., 2005; Bala et al., 2007; Don et al., 2011; Yonekura et al., 2012; Zhang et al., 2015). The depletion of soil total C due to the intensification of agriculture and land-use change from natural to croplands is exacerbated through agricultural practices with low return of organic material and other various factors including oxidation/mineralization, leaching and erosion (Post and Kwon, 2000; Wu et al., 2003; Lal, 2004; Zhang et al., 2015). In a meta-analysis, Guo and Gifford (2002) showed that the conversion of native forests and pastures to croplands reduced soil C stocks by 42 and 59%, respectively. The results varied, however, depending on factors such as annual precipitation, plant species and, the length of study periods. Our analysis indicated that total C % of agricultural soils were lower as compared to natural soils in temperate regions (Figure Figure3B). However, no significant difference in total C % in agricultural vs. natural systems were observed in other regions such as the tropics. [3] Carbon and Microbes work hand in hand to generate a healthy substrate for our investments to grow upon. If we can enrich our soil microbes by increasing carbon, we can enhance nutrient delivery and in terms gain more for doing less. That is the goal of sustainability. Creating closed loop avenues to sequester carbon within our agriculture landscapes. California has ample biomass for this system to work. There are already business beginning to sequester carbon such as Bob's Biomass in Chowchilla, CA. His unique approach to taking on biomass residues from orchards, and turning them into Biochar, is a quick method to return carbon effectively back into the soil thus, keeping it out of the air.


(Burn Boss Air-curtain Burner being utilized to create Biochar from orchard residues)


(Left over char after quench. Feedstock is from another farmers almond trees) Turning Excess Bio Mass Into Charcoal has a quick turnaround versus waiting for the wood to decompose utilizing anerobic and anaerobic bacteria without any inputs. Adding microbes and bug excreta with chitinase to biochar, created from orchard residues, creates a super amendment that only takes 1 months to produce; 1 month to sit in the soil, then ready to sow again. All in a 2 months span. KOrganics has the information about this process on there research form. The bug frass is also being generated by consuming the paulownia leaves that are onsite, consuming agrictulure residues and generating a powerful agrictulure mineral.


(Fermented Biochar Amendment utilzing wood residues,bug frass and effective microrganism, all from almond orchards in the central valley)

Currently the CDFA Incentive program does not include char or to generate microbes to assist in the wood chip programs.


Our organization is working diligently to make this a feasible reality, and am asking for support wherever we can find it.


The CDFA also requires farmers to bury their chips, then go fallow for three years. Cutting into profit margins is not a desirable incentive.


If the CDFA can include an incentive to deliver chips to a biochar processing facility, such as Bobs Biomass or mandate microbes be added to buried or mulched chips, all of this will work towards decreasing the time it takes for the chips to breakdown. Reducing our environmental impact while increasing soil carbon percentages via biochar to assist in our ecological function, all the while keeping carbon out of the air.

Also 2-3 months is more attractive than 3 years.


Turning our RESIDUES into char is the quickest method


(Bobs Biomass processing Almond wood into Pure carbon via pyrolysis and retort mechanics)

Here is a Japanese Research article detailing why burying wood chips without an Effective Microorganism Solution Level 4 is inadvisable

Effect of Lactic Acid Fermentation Bacteria on Plant Growth and Soil Humus Formation T. Higa and S. Kinjo University of The Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan Introduction Decomposition of organic matter in soil results in gas and heat production which are lost energy to the cultivated crop. This kind of decomposition can result in products that are harmful to plant growth (Gussin and Lynch, 1981). Nutrient recycling in terrestrial environments would be more efficient if this energy loss could be avoided. Fermentation pathways provide a more efficient means for utilizing organic substrates during their decomposition in soil. [4] Discussion In the first experiment, the incorporation of woodchips in soil resulted in poor initial growth of cucumber, possibly because of immobilization of inorganic nitrogen. The results indicate, however, that EM 4 can be used successfully in combination with woodchips as an organic amendment by accelerating their rate of decomposition in soil. [4]


CAM Group home at Appliedbiomass.us, is currently working on generating regenerative protocols utilizing wood pyrolysis with retort systems to assist in the carbon neutral revolution. By utilizing beneficial microbes, biochar and mini-livestock we will generate powerful organic soil amendments, we hope to offset the increasing prices for synthetic fertilizers such as Anhydrous Ammonia, Ammonium Nitrate , DAP and Ammonium Sulfate and assist California in biomass reduction methods that are regenerative with quick turnaround.


Fertilizer Price Increase Since Fall 2020

Prices of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash fertilizers have increased dramatically since last Fall. Anhydrous ammonia provides nitrogen requirements on Illinois farms. In its September 10, 2020 report entitled Illinois Production Costs, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) reported the average ammonia price in Illinois at $432 per ton, the lowest level since Fall 2017. The 2017 and 2020 fall prices were the lowest in the last ten years for anhydrous ammonia (see Figure 1). Since September, anhydrous ammonia prices have exhibited continual increases, reaching $691 per ton on April 8, 2021. From September 10, 2020, to April 8, 2021, anhydrous ammonia prices increased by $259 per ton or 60%. [5]

KOrganics has a plan to offset this costs with a compact low cost method. All range of farms can incorporate this into their fertilizer routines to generate living soils.

(Mealworm setup that generates 17 pounds of frass every week)


(Frass generated from KOrganics meal worm colonies)


(Chemical composition of Molitor Tenebrio frass) The effect of frass on biomass and nutrient uptake as compared to NPK suggests that frass acted as a nutrient source and could be used as a partial or complete substitute of mineral fertilizer. Interestingly, despite having much lower water soluble P concentrations (Fig. 5), treatments with frass induced similar P uptake than the NPK treatment (Fig. 6). Water soluble P is known to be closely related to P loss in runoff and leaching waters47,48 and is therefore considered as an important index for soil P status in the environment49 [6] California has a biomass crisis KOrganics and Bob's Biomass would love to assist CDFA in the discovery of possible incentive program to assist in regenerative objectives. KOrganis Journey Since arriving to California from buffalo NY, in September 2020 I was greeted with a smokey horizon. After working odd jobs and living on mountains for a bit, I reopened a chapter of my business to begin my regenerative agriculture programs involving mini live-stock using the Molitor Tenebrio.


.(KOrganics Beetle Breeding Bin)

KOrganics experimented with many different residues that California agriculture had to offer, and have yet to find anything the bugs enjoy more than the paulownia leaf, a carbon sequestering tree.

Since relocating to chowchilla we reached the apex of our quest for carbon negative, and now believe that this tree can serve California when it comes to degrading biomass.

The CDFA can have a paramount role in advocating these practices to incentivize the use of Bio-char and Microbes to help create a better soil.


( Fermented Paulownia Leaves suspended in water for microbial and nutrient collection. Dilution ratio is 1:1000 )

I encourage you to take a look into what we are accomplishing here in regard to microbes and biochar production and inoculation practices. Utilizing organic methods to produce sustainable products that is on par with manufactured NPK products. There are many businesses that can be created for this process. There are only two paulownia farms in California, one bio char processing facility; located in chowchilla, and only a few meal worm factories like KOrganics. There are many ways to generate beneficial microbes and feedstock to create frass and beyond. We can reduce agricultural waste streams via incentive to utilize these facilities and enhance the soil at the same time. A win win for everyone!


Bob's Biomass, located at22377 Avenue 26, Chowchilla CA 93610 KOrganics can be reached at 716-880-0386 or at KOFrass.com Thank you for the time you took reading this email. Any correspondence would be much appreciated. Kenneth John Scherer KOrganics Owner



(KOrganics Fermentation Protocols utilizing valley agricultural residues )



(Meal Worms Consuming and Producing Paulowina Frass)




(Fermented Biochar Chowchilla CA)

References 1. https://www.paulownia.bg/en/198-kachestva-na-paulovniya 2. https://bioresources.cnr.ncsu.edu/resources/microbial-diversity-of-paulownia-spp-leaves-a-new-source-of-green-manure/ 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940416/

4. http://www.infrc.or.jp/knf/PDF%20KNF%20Conf%20Data/C1-5-018.pdf 5. https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2021/04/fertilizer-price-increases-for-2021-production.html

6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27757806/

--

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page