• Robert Lerner Joins Agromin to Head Biochar Program - Monday, March 26, 2012 at
  • OXNARD, CALIF.--Robert Lerner, a leading authority on biochar soil technology, has joined Agromin to head the company's biochar business development unit. Biochar is a breakthrough sustainability technology that improves soil fertility while combating climate change. It involves converting green waste into a charcoal-like substance that works as a soil conditioner, enhancing moisture and nutrient retention while reducing reliance on agrochemicals. Biochar can persist for hundreds to thousands of years, sequestering carbon in the soil while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    Lerner was most recently the project manager for the Costa Rica Biochar Project, where he led development of biochar production systems and coordinated plant yield studies and reforestation trials. “The biochar concept is based on ancient agricultural practices from Amazonia that have only recently come to light,” explains Lerner, “where manmade soils rich in charcoal and organic debris have remained persistently fertile in the face of constant cultivation. Modern biochar methods harness advanced clean technology to emulate this ancestral agricultural wisdom.”

    Agromin is planning to incorporate biochar in selected Agromin soil products and will soon begin yield studies to evaluate biochar’s potential for local growers. Recent research demonstrates that crop yields improve when biochar is introduced into the soil. Plus, soils treated with biochar require less supplemental fertilizer, minimize leaching of agrochemicals into aquifers, and suppress emissions of greenhouse gases that are common with conventional agriculture. "Biochar is a keystone technology that can play a crucial role in restoring depleted soil carbon, reducing reliance on petrochemicals, improving water and air quality, and reversing greenhouse gases," says Lerner.

    Lerner will be overseeing Agromin's biochar product development and testing programs, and the eventual development of commercial scale biochar production facilities at Agromin sites in Ventura County. "We are excited to have Rob join Agromin," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "Biochar has the potential to become a truly groundbreaking technology when it comes to the food we grow and how we care for our planet. Rob is at the forefront of this technology."

    Lerner can be reached at 805-485-9200, rob@agromin.com.

    About Agromin

    Agromin is an Oxnard, Calif. company that manufactures earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected from more than 50 communities. One of the largest organics management companies in California, it receives over 30,000 tons of organic material each month and then uses a safe, natural and sustainable process to transform the material into premium soil products. It continually seeks non-traditional technologies that create the highest and best use of organics. The results are more vigorous and healthier plants and gardens, and on the conservation side, the opportunity to close the recycling circle, allow more room in landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. http://www.agromin.com

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