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Nutrient Elements of Different Agricultural Wastes from Vermicomposting Activity

Dynamic Soil Dynamic Plant 12/2010; 4(Special Issue I):155-158.

ABSTRACT Vermicomposting using the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus was conducted for 70 days subsequent to 10 days of pre-composting under glasshouse conditions. Five treatments were used as feed materials with 5 replicates per treatment: T 1 : goat manure, T 2 : paddy straw, T 3 : spent mushroom paddy straw compost, T 4 : sawdust and T 5 : spent mushroom sawdust compost. The treatments were placed in a micro-cosm or worm bin plastic container (360 mm × 280 mm × 200 mm). The effectiveness of vermicomposting was evaluated through the increment of nutrient elements contained in the vermicompost, growth (biomass weight) and reproduction (total numbers) of earthworms, as a percentage, at the end of the process. The increment of macronutrients in the vermicompost from each treatment was high, especially of organic carbon (C) in T 1 and T 4 , and nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in T 3 . Regarding micronutrients, copper (Cu) had the highest concentration in T 2 and zinc (Zn) in T 1 and T 2 . Therefore, the best vermicompost as a soil fertilizer was T 3 , which showed the highest increment and final content of N (+150.73%, 1.50%), P (+387.75%, 1.06%) and K (+886.09%, 2.05%). There was no significant difference between the number and weight of earthworms among the 5 treatments (P > 0.05). A C: N ratio < 20 indicates the degree of compost maturity and post-vermicomposting, as noted for T 1 and T 3 ; T 1 had the lowest C: N ratio (9.86). Based on our findings, the nutritive value of our vermicompost – developed from selected agricultural wastes – can be qualitatively assessed as a value-added material against fertilizers or soil stabilizers.

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    ABSTRACT: Vermicomposting is a green technology for the purpose of nutrient enrichment from a variety of organic waste products. In this study, saw dust-based spent mushroom compost (SMC), an organic waste and biomass residue, was used as a medium for the cultivation of pea sprouts. After harvesting the pea sprouts, the growth medium was reused to culture earthworms, Lumbricus rubellus. The culturing activity was conducted for 50 days without any pre-composting or thermocomposting. Thus duration of vermicomposting process was shortened as opposed to previous work on vermicomposting of saw dust-based SMC (no amendment) for 70 days. The culturing treatments were conducted in triplicate, including one treatment without earthworms as the control. The analysis showed that concentrations of macronutrients in vermicompost were higher compared to controls, in which N = 4.12%, P = 2.07% and K = 1.56%. The C:N ratio was 11.77, which indicates a stabilisation and maturity of the organic waste compost, compared with the C:N ratio for the control, which was 59.34. At the end of the experiment, increment of total biomass and number of earthworms were observed and no mortality was recorded. The results suggested that vermicomposting could be used as an environmentally valuable technology to convert saw dust used for mushroom and pea sprouts cultivation into vermicompost or bio-fertiliser by employing L. rubellus.
    Maejo international journal of science and technology 11/2012; 6(3):461-469. · 0.46 Impact Factor
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