YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - In today's Home Grown, biochar is a new type of soil farmers are experimenting.
Soil is naturally low in carbon and biochar helps to add carbon so crops can grow with more nutrients.
A major threat Yuma County growers are trying to tackle is fusarium wilt, which is a type of fungus.
An experiment proved biochar helps reduce the presence of this fungus in lettuce, according to Robert Masson, agriculture extension agent with the University of Arizona.
"We have a trial going now where we've added different amounts of biochar to the soil, and we're seeing if there's any reduced disease in the lettuce that's being grown" Masson explained. "So far, so good. We are seeing some promising signs that that might be not a silver bullet to kill all the pathogens but to help reduce the impact of this disease."
In comparison, Masson says carbon is given to patients that have alcohol poisoning to get rid of the toxins.
It is no different for crops fighting against the fusarium wilt toxin.