Introduction of Vermicompost
Vermicomposting is the process of decomposing organic waste (household garbage except for citrus, grass clipper, rice straw, rice grass clipper straw, cow manure, sewage waste free of plastic, etc.) through earthworms application into humus like material as a fertilizer for plants to enhance soil fertility rate with nutrient balance in the soil as well as in control of environmental pollution that results from vermicompost material.
The Latin word “vermi” means worms and its compositing is called vermicomposting. The best type of earthworms is Eisenia fetida(red wigglers) and Lumbricus rubellus(red worms).
In this process Eisenia fetida (red wriggles) is used because its fertility rate is high, require 60-90 days for composting, and can store for one year without losing its quality if moisture level maintained at 40%, hermaphroditic reproduction, it has no larva stage, its (vermicast) is used for fertilizers application and soil fertility enhancement.
Harvested Vermicompost is an environmental, economic, and ecosystem-friendly application for improving the physicochemical and biological properties of degraded soil. Humified material (vermicompost)has been beneficial for long-term sustainability and crop productivity. It can be a source for soil amendment, detoxifying agent and bioremediate.
Suitable environmental conditions for the earthworm.
Optimum conditions of temperature 15-20°C(limit 4-30°C),Moisture content 80-90%(limit 60-90%).Oxygen-Aerobicity,pH of 5-9 are preferred for stable earthworm life cycle,Salt content low < 0.5%, Ammonia content of the waste low <1mg.·g–1 (0.016 oz.1b–1).
Role of Vermicompost in soil fertility
Humified black brownish, excreta of earthworm (vermicast) full of nutrients, organic N, C, Ca, Mg, K, P, Vitamins B and D.
Plants growth hormones are also found in organic waste processed by earthworms.it releases certain nutrients, vitamins and hormones into the vermicast.
Vermicompost nutrient availability as follow :Organic carbon 9.5-17.98%, Nitrogen 0.5-1.50%, Phosphorous 0.1-0.30%, Potassium 0.15-0.56%,Sodium 0.06-0.30%, Calcium and Magnesium 22.67-47.68 mg/100g, Copper 2-9.50mg/kg, Iron 2-9.30 mg/kg, Zinc 5.70-11.50mg/kg, Sulfur 128-548mg/kg.
Its application enhances soil nutrients, fertility of the soil, vigour plant germination, promote root initiation, increase root length, provide availability of NPK and micronutrients, increase water holding capacity, aeration, drainage, improve soil structure and soil profile. Organic fertilizer increases yield on the ground as well as in-ground biomass and provide nutrient enrich food. It can meet food security
Vermicompost add beneficial soil microbes, nitrogen-fixing, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, actinomycete and growth hormones auxins, gibberellin and cytokinin suitable alternative to chemical fertilizers, adding negative impact towards the ecosystem and soil structure. Vermicompost is beneficial for sustainable organic agriculture and maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
Role of Vermicompost in controlling environmental pollution
The world population is increasing day by day resulting in higher consumption of goods and services that is driving the substantial increase of organic waste originating from households, industry and agriculture. Pathogenic microorganisms found in organic wastes are highly infectious. Organic wastes dump in open areas and burns ultimately generate serious environmental issues such as pollution of ground and surface water due to leaching, run-off nutrients, acid rain, the accumulation of heavy metals in soil.
When these organic wastes are applied directly to agricultural fields cause soil-borne diseases, environmental-related problems including phytotoxicity.
These organic wastes could be recycled and transformed into nutrients rich organic fertilizers and soil conditioner through composting and vermicomposting. In demand for safe and sustainable strategies, the Vermicompost application does not impart a negative impact on the environment rather it’s ecosystem friendly and biologically friendly.
Vermicompost is “Black Gold” directly imparting a role in both soil and environment. Soil organic agriculture fertilizers, Vermicompost is a soil Manager that enhances soil physical, chemical, and biological properties. Chemical fertilizers are produced from earth vanishing resources and crops grown on chemical fertilizers have contaminated nutrient values and impart pollution in the ecosystem in comparison to grown in organic Vermicompost
It’s time to focus on organic farming with the use of organic fertilizers like” Vermicompost” which could substitute the chemical fertilizers and can reduce the economic cost.