Week 8 Workbook Activity – Powerpoint and Script

The link below will take you to my Powerpoint presentation which maps out my three-minute speech for assignment 2. This speech and presentation basically addresses the benefits biochar will have on the Murrumbidgee Region. Please note that there is no introductory or conclusion slide. This has been done on purpose as the assignment criteria sheet specifically states this is only a ‘three minute’ section which will be inserted into a much larger speech therefore it would not be suitable to include either of these slides.

Powerpoint

Script

SLIDE ONE – Vision of the concerns Murrumbidgee Region is currently facing.

It is time therefore to turn our attention to biochar.

As mentioned earlier, we, as a region, are currently facing a time of stricken drought seasons directly resulting in a shortage a water availability and yield loss (point to presentation), not to mention the ever-increasing concern about ‘global warming’. What we are dealing with now are just murmurs of what our region will have to face in the future.

It is common knowledge that we as human beings cannot control the rules of nature. However, we can control the way we comply with these rules. To do this we need to actively change our circumstances and we, as a region, can get started through the use of Biochar.

The use of sustainable Biochar throughout the Murrumbidgee Region could present an affordable and easy answer to improve soil characters in order to overcome urgent environmental concerns that our region is facing at this present time (point to presentation screen, click).

SLIDE TWO – Visuals of the report released by the Department of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry as well as the product itself.

In fact, the report released yesterday by the Department of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry titled, ‘Biochar: Implications for Agricultural Use1’ gives our region hope for the future (click).

In the report, Biochar is referred to as a stable, carbon-rich form of charcoal that can be applied to agricultural land as part of agronomic or environmental management2. This substance has been used for thousands of years in the Amazonian Basin where it was referred to as ‘black soil.’3

SLIDE THREE – Visuals of the pyrolysis process for the audience to visually understanding how the process works. As well as a visual of the machines in which the process takes place

Biochar is a product of an energy conversion process known as pyrolysis4. The process heats organic matter such as wood chips, manure or crops in the absence of oxygen and as a result forms a highly stable form of carbon which can remain stable in soil for hundreds of years5. This process takes place in a pyrolysis machine6 (click).

SLIDE FOUR – Visuals of a healthy crop field, without irrigation, during drought season. This is used to strengthen the presidents verbal message that biochar can works as its own irrigation system.

Currently, 90 per cent of our agricultural sector relies of the use of irrigation7 which, during drought periods, forces almost 30 per cent of our farmers to access the region’s exceptional circumstances provision of water8. The report makes evident that through the use of Biochar we are able to decrease the use for irrigation which will take the stress of our water supply.9 Biochar’s porosity helps retain water for long periods of time and releases it through the plants in drought seasons when soil becomes hot and dry.10 In fact, Biochar’s retention ability can reduce the plants need for water by up to 30 percent11.  By implementing the use of Biochar it will not only help with the concern about water availability but also help meet the key objectives set out by the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd’s Sustainable Business Strategy (click).

SLIDE FIVE – Visuals of how crops currently look in contrast to what they could look like if Biochar was used. This allows for the audience to visually understand the benefits.

Our region currently faces yield loss due to both water availability, mentioned above, and poor soil quality12. This will be a situation of the past as Biochar can improve the physical and biological characteristics of soil to enable it to maintain a consistent level of nutrient supplies to plants while reducing the need for chemical nutrient fertilisers and increasing a plants resistance to a number of harmful diseases13. Evidence gathered from both glasshouse and field trials indicates that Biochar additions to poor soils, combined with fertiliser application, can produce yields greater than either fertiliser or Biochar alone14. To be exact, through the use of Biochar we can improve our crop yields by 20 – 200 per cent15 (click).

SLIDE SIX – Visuals of agricultural waste and biochar are used to emphasis the fact that Biochar has a huge potential throughout the Region.

In terms of its use throughout the Murrumbidgee Region, I am pleased to inform you that a report written by CSIRO Land and Water Researcher Wendy Quayle, concludes that, throughout the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area there is over 60, 000 tonnes of agriculture waste produced each yeah that is viable for Biochar production16. If this substance is used to combat our environmental issues then our region has the ability to produce 121,520 tonnes of Biochar which is enough to treat approximately 3000 ha/y of land17.

Although further research is required to measure the environmental sustainability potential of Biochar, I have complete confidence that it may, in fact, save this Region’s soils. Right now, the region has everything to gain so it would be negligent if we did not opt to give this substance (point and make emphasis to presentation slide) the chance to help combat the urgent environmental issues that are affecting our agricultural produce.

Reflection

This activity was extremely helpful not only in regards to my learning outcomes for the week but also the final assignment. The objective of this week’s study guide was to reinforce knowledge of writing a corporate speech. This was achieved through mapping out and writing a corporate speech to resemble that of assignment two.

Most students, like myself, don’t really take a look at the final assignment until end of week 10. I have done this for nearly two years now and I am known for leaving things until the last minute. Despite still getting them done, it would be good to have time to draft an assignment. This activities allowed my to accomplish a draft of assignment two, part one. I tell you what; it is a great feeling being prepared! This week’s activity allocated time solely to spend planning and breaking down the bigger assignment into smaller pieces. For example, we were tasked to map out our speech visually via a PowerPoint presentation which then made the task of writing and editing the speech so much easier.

This week’s activity also gave me a greater understanding of a complicated topic. By researching and investigating during the week, I was able to attain an understanding of Biochar. However, it wasn’t just the information that helped me gain this knowledge it was also the use of visuals. The visual aspect of the PowerPoint presentation allowed me to visually understand biochar’s production process and its potential for the Murrumbidgee Region. So the saying is true, a picture really does speak a thousand words.

1Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Biochar: implications for
agricultural productivity: Technical Report (Australian Government: Canberra,
2011),4
2Ibid.
3Ibid.
4Ibid.
5Ibid.
6Ibid.
7Queensland Irrigation District 2010, Murrumbidgee community profile”, Queensland Government http://download.mdba.gov.au/AppendixC_Murrumbidgee_community_profile.pdf (accessed August 30, 2012).
8Ibid.
9Ibid.,1
10Vuthis Technologies, Biochar as a soil amendment and carbon sequesting tool”, Vuthis, http://vuthisa.com/2011/01/09/biochar-as-a-soil-amendment-and-carbon-sequestering-tool/ (accessed September 01, 2012)
11Biochar Central, Overview of Biochar”, Biochar Central, http://www.linkedin.com/company/biochar-central (accessed September 01, 2012) 12Ibid.,7
13Ibid.,11
14Ibid.,1
15Ibid.,11
16W. Quayle, Biochar potential for soil improvement and soil fertility CSIRO, http://www.irec.org.au/farmer_f/pdf_182/Biochar%20_a%20means%20of%20storing%20carbon.pdf (accessed September 02, 2012) 17Ibid.

Reference

Biochar Central, Overview of Biochar”, Biochar Central, http://www.linkedin.com/company/biochar-central (accessed September 01, 2012).

Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry. Biochar: implications for agricultural
productivity: Technical Report. Australian Government: Canberra, 2011.

Quayle, W, Biochar potential for soil improvement and soil fertility CSIRO, http://www.irec.org.au/farmer_f/pdf_182/Biochar%20_a%20means%20of%20storing%20carbon.pdf (accessed September 02, 2012)

Queensland Irrigation District 2010, Murrumbidgee community profile”, Queensland Government http://download.mdba.gov.au/AppendixC_Murrumbidgee_community_profile.pdf (accessed August 30, 2012).

Vuthis Technologies, Biochar as a soil amendment and carbon sequesting tool”, Vuthis, http://vuthisa.com/2011/01/09/biochar-as-a-soil-amendment-and-carbon-sequestering-tool/ (accessed September 01, 2012).

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