University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Soil fertility, soil degradation, climate change, food supply


Many row-crop fields today have declined in soil fertility due to poor management practices and overuse of pesticides. Under these conditions, plant nutrient uptake can be sub-optimal. There are several soil amendments that can be used to improve soil quality and plant growth. This study focused on the addition of biochar to the soil and the use of structured water to enhance plant growth. Biochar is produced by pyrolysis of organic feedstocks. Previous studies which focused on biochar have shown an increase in plant yield, nutrient availability in the soil, and soil water holding capacity. Structured water is the liquid crystalline state of water which has unique characteristics due to the ordering of the hydrogen bonds in the water molecules. There have been numerous claims in the natural and organic health literature about the benefits of structured water in human and animal health, but little has been reported in the scientific literature concerning plant growth response. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of biochar and structured water on the growth and nutrient content of radishes (Raphahus sativa L.). Data showed that the water type used had the most significant response. Biochar and tap water had a significant and positive interaction. Tap water and biochar used together resulted in higher yield, leaf area, plant fresh weight, and nutrient contents as the rate of biochar increased. Radish growth showed a negative response to structured water in almost every circumstance.