Nutrient Elements of Different Agricultural Wastes from Vermicomposting Activity

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


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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Available from: Noor Zalina Mahmood, Jan 09, 2014
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