The PAIBOC of speech

PURPOSE

The purpose of the script is to talk about Biochar and its’ features and what it means to the agricultural industry.  Advantages and disadvantages of producing Biochar will be discussed so as to create some controversary.  A controversial topic stimulates audience minds and keeps them interested. The speech needs to be written in plain English with no technical jargon so that rotary members can understand the purpose clearly.

AUDIENCE

Þ      Policy makers for national, state and local governments

Þ      Australian Agricultural systems

Þ      Landcare/rotary members

INFORMATION

The primary goal is to provide information to the audience about biochar – the benefits, risks and limitations need to be understood.

Information such as processes and feedstocks available for biochar production:

Þ      physical and chemical characteristics of biochar

Þ      effects of biochar application to agricultural soils

Þ      economic considerations of biochar production and use

Þ      risks associated with using biochar in agricultural systems

BENEFITS

The benefits of biochar will be discussed, such as having the potential to improve livestock growth rates, while decreasing nitrogen outputs.

The benefits include improvements in physical and chemical soil characteristics, nutrient use efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions derived from nitrogenous fertilisers.  Generally, research has shown biochar has been found to improve infertile and degraded soils. It can also be used as a soil conditioner and a climate change mitigation tool.

The speech needs to be delivered loud and clear so that it can be understood.

OBJECTIONS

The risks and limitations of producing and using biochar must be discussed.  According to Sparkes and Stoutjesdijk (2011), there is no consistent evidence that biochar can be relied upon to make soil more fertile or to be used as feedstock.  The process for making charcoal and energy (pyrolysis) can result in dangerous soil and air pollution.  There are still gaps in research whether or not biochar will not harm the environment and it’s species or animals.  This could be a discussion on its own and audiences may have questions.

CONTEXT

Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc. (ML) is an umbrella organisation supporting vibrant, financially sustainable communities, ensuring the environment is not harmed in any way.  The speech will be delivered in an environmental context.

References

Sparkes, J, Stoutjesdijk, P 2011, Biochar:  implications for agricultural productivity, Australian Government:  Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Technical Report 11.06

Murrumbidgee Landcare, ‘About’, viewed 03 September 2012,  http://www.murrumbidgeelandcare.asn.au/about

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