Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center P.O. Box 198 Shashemene, Ethiopia
The impact and cost of synthetic fertilizers as well as their associated risks on the environmental safety was becoming unaffordable. To alleviate these problems, integrating this synthetic fertilizers with easily available and an environment friendly compound like bio-char is of very high significance towards meeting our goal of increasing agricultural production and ensuring food security. The present field experiment was therefore conducted to investigate the effect of biochar rate application on the selected properties of soils and yield and yield components of Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratuc L.) during 2013/2015 in W/Genet. Biochar produced from coffee husk and biogas was applied at rates of 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 tone ha-1 for both coffee husk and biogas which was giving a total of nine treatments, where arranged in Randomized Complete Blocked Design with three replications. The over years result showed that the application of biochar have an increasing effects on soil properties like PH, OC, total N, available P, CEC and exchangeable cations and significant (p<0.05) increase in fresh biomass and number of leaf per hill. The highest fresh biomass, number of leaf per hill and moisture content was obtained by the application of 15ton/hectare biochar rate from coffee husk followed by the application of 15ton/hectare biochar rate from sugar factory and the highest essential oil yield was obtained by the application of 15ton/hectare biochar rate from sugar factory followed by the application of 15ton/hectare biochar rate from coffee husk. The best treatment recommended would be 15 tone ha-1 biochar from coffee husk and followed by 15 tone ha-1 biochar from biogas in order to achieve optimum Lemmon Grass production in W/Genet soil. Therefore, application biochar is very imperative to increase soil fertility, enhance nutrient uptake, ameliorate polluted soils and reduce the amount of carbon produced due to biomass burning.