This year we are continuing our regular webinars on all sorts of farming topics as part of a programme provided to our members, allowing us to continue educating through Covid-19 restrictions.

HOSTMelissa Rebbeck, Warrick Isaachsen, Dennis Enright, Miles Pope and Simon Day
DATEThursday 9th September
TIME11:30 am
Online via Zoom

The ODPG has the privilege to host Biochar Network NZ (BNNZ) on our next webinar, with a total of five speakers focussing on how to get the best value from Biochar.


Black earth, or Biochar, was the result of ancient slash and burn societies. In the Amazon, Biochar is responsible for topsoil that can measure more than six feet deep in places and, despite being cultivated for the past four decades, still remains as fertile as day one. The existence of Biochar can be dated back thousands of years but today it is seen as a very important addition to the toolbox in our fight against climate change. 

While Biochar doesn’t carry large mineral deposits, it has the incredible capacity to retain moisture and create a living soil that promotes healthy plants and animals.

The main presentation of the Biochar Webinar will be about the benefits and practicalities of Biochar for pastoral use, given by Melissa Rebbeck who will be joining us from Australia. Melissa will explain how milk yield can be increased by up to 1.4 litres per head, per day, and the follow-on cascading benefits of Biochar in the soil, along with its impact on plant health and animal health. In addition, you will hear about the opportunities to integrate dung beetles and how they can work well with biochar to improve productivity.

Joining Melissa Rebbeck and Warrick Isaachsen (Chair of the BNNZ) will be Dennis Enright, Miles Pope and Simon Day.

Melissa Rebbeck

Hailing from South Australia, Melissa Rebbeck is a cattle farm manager, researcher, local body Councillor and a consultant through Climate & Agricultural Support. Melissa has authored a number of scientifically peer reviewed papers as well as books and reports. Her research into using Biochar and dung beetles on livestock farms was commissioned for the South Australia Dairy Industry Fund and carried out in partnership with the University of New South Wales.

Dennis Enright

Dennis has a strong interest in soil and sustainable food production and, as a consequence, promotes organic and sustainable growing practices, and the role that biochar can play in such systems. He has over 40 years of experience in agriculture and horticulture, ranging from researcher to commercial producer. In addition, he has sat on the committees of various local and national organic organisations in NZ. Dennis was the founding chair of the Biochar Network NZ (BNNZ) and remains on the committee. He also sits on the Australia New Zealand Biochar Industry Group (ANZBIG) executive committee.

Miles Pope

Along with Jenny, Miles owns Soil Conditioner Products Ltd, the largest supplier of biochar amended organic soil conditioner products in New Zealand. Having been involved in large scale agricultural land development and production, Miles has seen first-hand the change in products used over time for the betterment of the environment.

Simon Day

Simon manages a dairy support block in Waiuku, South Auckland and has been experimenting with making and applying biochar on broadacre scale for years.  

We hope our ODPG Members and BNNZ guests will join us to take advantage of the incredible line up Warrick has arranged for us.

Please note the time for the Biochar webinar differs from our usual schedule – this will be a morning event.

Janette Perrett | ODPG CHAIR


Cost: FREE

  • The Zoom Webinar link will be emailed directly to members before the event.
  • The Webinar will be recorded for those members who are unable to attend and made available through the member’s resources page of our website. (You will need to be logged in to view). All previously recorded webinars from the series are available through this page, including Biodynamics, Homeopathy, the Soil Foodweb, Compost, On-Farm Fertility, Humates, Animal Wellness, ELF Waves and Soil, Cows & Carbon.


To gain access to our farming webinars and many other membership benefits, sign up as a Farm Member. You don’t need to be an organic farmer. Anyone with an interest in organic, regenerative and biological farming methods is welcome and can benefit from membership.

To find out more, visit the membership page on our website.

Cover Image Photo Credit: Dexter Fernandes from Pexels

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