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International Journal of Research Vermicomposting in organic Agriculture: Influence on the soil nutrients and plant growth


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Vermicomposting is a green technology that converts organic wastes into plant available nutrient rich organic fertilizer. It has also found to reduce heavy metal concentration in contaminated feeding materials. Vermicompost (VC), when used as fertilizer, not only bears positive impact on soil quality, plant growth and yield but also enhances nutritional value of crops produced. Use of VC on soil improves its physiochemical (aggregation, stability, pH, EC, bulk density, water holding capacity (WHC), organic matter (OM), micro-and macro-nutrients.) and biological properties (microbial population, enzymes). It also increases soil structural stability and reduces vulnerability of soil to calamities like erosion. Use of VC in plant growth enhances their development in early as well as latter stages of plant growth but proper concentration of VC must be considered for optimum plant growth and production.
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Vermicomposting in organic Agriculture: Influence
on the soil nutrients and plant growth
Shristi Piya, Inisa Shrestha, Dhurva P. Gauchan and Janardan
Department of Biotechnology, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavrepalanchowk, Nepal
*Corresponding Author:; Phone: 977-011-415100; Fax: 977-011-
Vermicomposting is a green technology that converts organic wastes into plant available nutrient rich organic
fertilizer. It has also found to reduce heavy metal concentration in contaminated feeding materials.
Vermicompost (VC), when used as fertilizer, not only bears positive impact on soil quality, plant growth and
yield but also enhances nutritional value of crops produced. Use of VC on soil improves its physiochemical
(aggregation, stability, pH, EC, bulk density, water holding capacity (WHC), organic matter (OM), micro- and
macro- nutrients.) and biological properties (microbial population, enzymes). It also increases soil structural
stability and reduces vulnerability of soil to calamities like erosion. Use of VC in plant growth enhances their
development in early as well as latter stages of plant growth but proper concentration of VC must be considered
for optimum plant growth and production.
Keywords: Vermicompost, soil quality, plant growth promotion, plant nutrients
1. Introduction
“Organic Agriculture” is an sustainable alternative to conventional system as it aids in environmental
protection [1], improved food quality and human health [2]-[4]. It restricts use of agro-chemicals and genetically
modified organisms; rather focuses on other agricultural practices like organic manure (compost, vermicompost,
green manures, animal manures), crop rotations and biological control of pests to maintain productivity.
Increasing awareness on consumers has uplifted the demand of organic products in global scenario. However,
the organic supply has not been competent to meet the demand. Therefore farmers are encouraged to move into
organic farming.
Nutrient management of cropland is an important factor for agricultural success. Thus organic fertilizers like
VC have been boon for organic agriculture and farmers. VC is an organic fertilizer produced by biological
processing of organic feed by earthworms. It converts organic wastes viz. municipal waste [2][4], agricultural
waste [5], [6], animal waste [7][9], industrial waste [13]-[15], sewage sludge [10][12], human faeces [19],
anaerobic digestate [13], [14] into nutrient rich VC by help of earthworms. It is rich in micro- and macro- plant
nutrients which are in plant available forms like nitrate (NO3-) [15], phosphate (PO43-), sulphate (SO42-),
Potassium (K+) etc. and aids in plant growth promotion that increases crop productivity [16], [17]. It also
contains large number of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes) which produce phytohormones
(Indole 3acetic acid, Gibberellic acid, Kinetin) [18] and enzymes (Dehydrogenase, Urease) [26] that promote
plant growth. Microorganisms isolated from VC and having potential to inhibit pathogens have also been used
as bio-fertilizer or bio-pesticide. Also, its extracts like humic acid, vermin-tea are successfully being used in
raising crop productivity. However, to maintain good quality of VC, type of raw materials/feed [27]- [29];
stocking density [30], types of earthworm [31], [32] and other environmental factors [19] should be taken into
Nowadays chemical fertilizers are being used in high quantities which degrade soil quality in long run [34].
Many researchers have reported positive changes in soil quality and soil productivity by application of VC
compared to chemical fertilizers [20]. Many have testified significantly greater crop production through VC
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amendment. Kashem et al. (2015) reported higher tomato yield compared to inorganic fertilizers suggesting the
significance of VC over inorganic fertilizers [21]. Crops grown with VC amended soils are also found to have
additive nutrient content compared to non-amended. According to Gutiérrez et al. (2007) tomatoes produced in
VC amended substrate were more suitable for juice
Table 1 Quality of vermicompost prepared from different substrates
Substrate used
EC (ds/m)
Domestic waste
P. excavatus
Cattle waste
E. foetida
3.4 ± 0.01b
3.0 ± 0.01b
Goat waste
6.5 ± 0.02a
3.4 ± 0.02a
Human faeces
E. foetida
23.5 ± 2.5
65.0 ± 7.5
Food industry
sludge & cow
dung; 1:1
E. foetida
8.04 ± 0.15
6.0 ± 0.46
Cow dung
E. foetida
Household solid
Horse and rabbit
Chicken manure
(Quercus rubra)
and lake mud
E. foetida
C:N = Carbon:Nitrogen, EC= Electrical Conductivity, TOC= Total organic carbon, N= Nitrogen, P=
Phosphorous, K= Potassiumproduction due to higher soluble and insoluble solids content compared to control
[28].Its application has also found to increase minerals like Vitamin C and sugar in tomatoes [29].
Vermicomposting has emerged as a sustainable technology for management of organic waste, production of
organic fertilizer and reduction in use of chemical fertilizers. It is at times also used incorporated with chemical
fertilizers to maintain soil quality. The aim of this review paper is to discuss on nutrient quality of VC and its
efficacy on plant growth promotion and soil quality enhancement.
2. Physiochemical properties of VC
Vermicomposting enhances nutrient content of feeding materials making it suitable for using in agricultural
lands [23]. However, some organic materials like industrial waste and sewage, must be spiked with other
bulking agents like cowdung to make suitable habitat for earthworms [19], [39]. Plant available nutrient are
abundant in VC compared to normal compost. Atiyeh et al. 2000, reported that vermicomposting significantly
decreased concentration of ammonium-nitrogen nitrogen, which cannot be taken by plants directly, thus
increasing the quantity of nitrate-nitrogen by 28 folds. In normal composting nitrate-nitrogen increased only by
3 folds [15]. Nutrient quality of VC is highly influenced by feeding material. It has been reported that VC
prepared from cattle and goat manure varied on nutrient quantity. Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N) and pH were lower
and Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) concentrations were higher in goat manure VC than the cattle manure.
This may be due to variability in nutrient uptake by earthworms [9]. Similarly, VC quality is also governed by
earthworm species used. Perionyx excavates is more suitable and efficient than Perionyx sansibaricus for VC
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preparation of domestic waste [3]. However, several studies have cited Eisenia fetida as most preferred species
for vermicomposting [30]. Effects of vermicomposting on organic wastes are summarized in Table 1.
3. Heavy metals (HM) and vermicomposting
Vermiconversion of HM contaminated feeding materials reduces concentration of HM in wormcast. This is
accredited to accumulation of HMs in worm tissues. However, these residual contaminants may possess harmful
impact on agriculture land [31][33]. According to Abu et al. (2015) HM concentration through
vermicomposting varies according to the feed used [34]. Vermiconversion of four treatments Cowdung (CD):
Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC), CD:2SMC, Goat manure (GM):SMC and GM:2SMC spiked with 2 litres of
landfill leachate each for 75 days resulted in major flush out of HMs. Chromium (Cr) was removed at highest
level ranging from 95-99.81%. Cadmium (Cd) and Lead (Pb) were reduced by 90% and 80% in all treatments
respectively. Meanwhile, Copper (Cu) concentration increased in CD: SMC II and GM:SMC I. Zinc (Zn) also
showed an increase but only in GM:SMC I (15.01%). Percentage increase in Cu and Zn was clarified by
Lukkari et al. (2006), due to binding of HMs to organic matter. Moreover, the HMs concentration was found
within the international compost limits given by different organizations. It has also been reported that
vermicomposting reduces HM concentration in higher amount than normal composting and thus can be
approached as an environmental friendly method to reduce the toxicity issue [35]. However, further justification
should be made prior to claiming it.
4. Influence of VC on physiochemical properties of soil
VC imparts positive impact on physiochemical properties of soil. It helps to improve soil aggregation,
stability, pH, EC, bulk density, water holding capacity (WHC), organic matter (OM), micro- and macro-
nutrients. VC increases soil structural stability thus reducing the vulnerability of soil to calamities like erosion.
This is reported by Tejada et al. (2009) who applied beet vinasse, VC and compost (prepared by composting
beet vinasse and VC) in soil vulnerable to erosion. BV increased instability index by 7.9% however V and BVV
decreased it by 11.2% and 13.2%, respectively compared to control soil. Also, VC amendment reduces large
aggregate formation in soil thus increasing aggregate stability in all aggregate size fractions. This can be
explained by that organic matter application may have caused changes in the exchange complex that resulted in
breakdown of larger fractions [36]. Correspondingly, (Table 2) Doan et al. (2015) reported reduction on
leaching and runoff at highest quantity by vermicompost compared to control [37].
VC application reduced bulk density of soil in comparison to farm yard manure and chemical fertilizer due to
increasing concentration of organic matter which in turn decreases bulk density [48]. Conversely, soil pH is
found to increase due to application of VC. But, some researches assure that addition of VC to soil did not
change the pH [28]. Contradictorily, VC has also been found to decrease pH of soil. These discrepancies are
attributed to nutrient content of
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Table 2 Changes on physico-chemical parameters of soil due to application of vermicompost and other fertilizers
Feedstock used
OC (%)
TN (%)
P (ppm)
K (ppm)
No fertilizer, C
0 t/ha
Household solid waste (HSW)
HSW 10 t/ha
Horse and rabbit manure
HRM 10 t/ha
chicken manure (CM)
CM 10 t/ha
Household solid waste (HSW)
HSW 20 t/ha
horse and rabbit manure
HRM 20 t/ha
chicken manure (CM)
CM 20 t/ha
No fertilizer, To
0 t/ha
5.3 (0.1)
3.8 (0.02)
urea, %N=46.3%, 40 g m−2),
potash, %K=60%, 16 gm−2)
and phosphate, %P=16%, 50
Minerals (M) only
4.8 (0.1)
1.15 (0.25)
0.20 (0.01)
114.9 (1.04)
249.7 (4.5)
M + Biochar (B) (7t/ha)
5.5 (0.1)
1.29 (0.22)
0.21 (0.01)
163.0 (1.99)
216.5 (5.20
Buffalo manure, BM
6.4 (0.1)
2.61 (0.17)
0.31 (0.02)
181.1 (1.95)
285.7 (5.2)
Compost (2ot/ha)
6.4 (0.20
3.17 (0.22)
0.30 (0.04)
199.4 (1.54)
229.8 (3.1)
Vermicompost (V) only
6.5 (0.2)
3.02 (0.28)
0.29 (0.04)
202.0 (1.21)
V (20t/ha) +B (7t/ha)
6.5 (0.2)
3.10 (0.25)
0.35 (0.03)
220.7 (2.31)
303.3 (3.5)
EC= Electrical Conductivity, OC= Organic carbon, TN= Total Nitrogen, P= Phosphorous, K= Potassium
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soil and VC, base content aiding to buffering capacity of soil and capacity to absorb free protons (H+) in the soil
[49], [50]. Electrical conductivity increases with VC application [28]. It helps to inhibit toxicity due to saline
water and rather enhances plant growth [38]. Soil WHC also increases with amendment of VC. This is because
VC has high WHC and increases porosity when mixed with soil making pore spaces available for storing water
[50]. Also this is related to a higher proportion of hydrophilic/hydrophobic groups of the humic substances in
VC compared to that in control soil [39].
It is justified that amendment of VC and its extract on soil increases organic carbon percentage compared to
chemical fertilizer which rather reduces it. This is because chemical fertilizer do not contain carbon whereas
organic content of VC is slowly released into soil making it plant available [20], [40].Application of organic as
well as inorganic fertilizes upsurge nutrient content in soil. Nevertheless, VC has found to raise available N, P
and Kin soil at higher levels compared to them [41] and further increases with increasing rate of application
[42]. Similarly, sheep manure VC is also found to increase soil nutrients and can be raised further by increasing
rate of application. When soil was treated with 5, 10 and 15 t/ha of VC, the soil quality as in pH, EC, bulk
density, porosity, N, P, K was best at highest rate of application [42]. On the other hand, Sangwan et al. (2010)
reported loss of mineral elements in soil after harvest of marigold which has been accounted due to leaching or
being taken up by the plants. Nevertheless, concentration of this loss in VC amended soil was found lesser than
the control; 55% in control, 7.3% in cowdung VC and 7.2% in filter cake VC [43]. VC amendment also
increases micronutrients like Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe) and Manganese (Mn) in soil butat suitable
concentration [43][45].
VC also has been reported to remediate metal contaminated soil. It effects concentration of HM in metal
contaminated soils. Angelova et al. (2013) reported decrease in available Zn, Cd, Cu, Mn and Pb from the soil
due to VC application except Fe, while application of compost further increased Zn, Cd, Fe and Mn. This
increase in HM through compost was subjected to decrease in pH which make metals ions more soluble whereas
reduction of HM are attributed to conversion of OM to stable form by binding with the HMs [46]. Thus addition
of VC in metal contaminated soil may help in soil remediation and improving its quality.
5. Influence of VC on biological properties of soil
Microbial population and its activities in soil are enhanced by addition of VC. On the contrary, they are
reduced in chemical amended soils [44]. Tejada et al. (2009) found that VC increased soil microbial biomass
and respiration by 59.1% and 69% respectively compared to control soil. Dehydrogenase, Urease, β-
glucosidase, phosphatase and aryl sulfatase activities in soil was also significantly enthused with VC application
compared to control. These enzyme activities were more enhanced with increasing rate of VC application
[47].Similarly, these enzymes responsible for carbon and phosphorous cycles were found to increase with VC
application during celery production in alkaline soil [48].
6. Effect of VC on plant growth
VC is also found to have positive effect on early as well as later stages of plant life cycle. Arancon et al.
(2008) reported that seedling emergence of petunias seeds grown in mixture of VC (produced from cattle
manure, food waste and paper waste) and MM360, increased compared to control (100% MM360). However,
different rate of VC application exhibited different impact. It also significantly increased dry shoot/root weight
but at lower rates than higher ones [49].Similar results are demonstrated by Manh et al (2014) who reported that
application of VC with rice hulls ash and coconut husk gave higher germination, plant height, leaf biomass and
leaf area [50]. It is also stated that VC enriched with beneficial organisms like Trichoderma further enhances
germination and seedling quality [51]. Conversely, VC is found to inhibit germination and plant growth, these
were recorded lowest at highest rate of application and highest in control sphagnum peat [52].Similarly,
rosemary grown in control peat was better than that in VC amended substrates[53].
VC is found to have positive influence on crop productivity and quality in wide range of crops such as
tomato [21], [28], [29], [45], [54][56], eggplant [27], [57], okra [20], lettuce [58], cabbage [35], coriander [59],
cucumber [60], strawberry [61] and pistachio [62]. It also enhances growth of ornamental plants like marigold
[43]. It greatly enhances crop productivity than inorganic fertilizers. According to Ansari (2010), leaf number,
stem circumference and marketable yield was found maximum in chemical amended soil rather than VC
amended soil. But, biochemical (protein, fats) properties of crops harvested were enhanced in VC or VC extracts
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amended soil. Similarly, It is also reported that higher rate of application increases crop yield. When VC was
applied at 3 rates, 4 t/ha, 5t/ha and 6t/ha highest production was observed at 6t/ha application rate. VC when
applied along with chemical fertilizers produces high quality vegetable like Solanum melongena. VC produced
from Cowdung, Azolla and Eichorrnia substituted with 50% of NPK increase plant height, number of leaves per
plant, number of fruits per plant, length and width of fruit. It also shortened number of days for flowering.
Among all Azolla VC greatly enhanced growth and yield parameters of S. melongena [27].
Amount of VC required differs according to type of crops, leafy vegetable require minor VC quantity than
for tuber crops [40]. Similarly, it has been reported that quality and quantity of production largely depend on
rate of VC applied [63]. In an experiment where VC and soil was added in ratio of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 and 1:4;
maximum yield was recorded in 1:1 while , maximum crop nutrient like Vitamin C, total sugar, soluble solids,
insoluble solids and nitrites were witnessed in higher ratios [29]. However, some has reported that application
of VC at lowest rates can have similar yield to higher application rates thus can be cost effective [54], [64].
7. Conclusion
The literatures cited verify that VC can be used as an organic fertilizer alternative to in organics as it
improves soil quality as well as plant growth and production. It can also be used for bioremediation of HV
contaminated soil. It is thus found to improve soil physio-chemical and biological properties. However its
efficacy on soil quality and PGP greatly depends on raw materials used for its production and have suggested
spiking of earthworm friendly wastes to few probable toxic wastes like sewage during vermiconversion. It is
found that increasing soil quality due to VC application is reflected in plant growth and production. The review
also suggests that VC should be used at appropriate rate depending on type of crops grown and its nutrient
requirement for cost effectiveness. Overall, VC is boon to organic farming.
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... Vermicomposting has been reported to increase yield of groundnut (Sridevi et al., 2016;Chavan et al., 2019). Vermicomposting has been shown to improve soil quality, plant growth, crop yields, and crop nutritional value through the improvement of soil physiochemical and biological properties (Piya et al., 2018). Dosage of vermicompost is one of the determinant factors to improve yield of many organically grown vegetables. ...
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Results indicated that the application of 15 Mg ha-1 vermicompost was considered as the best dosage for increasing pod weight, grain weight of groundnuts as well as N, P, and K uptakes. Moreover, the use of liquid organic fertilizer did not increased growth and yields of organically grown groundnuts. The use of liquid organic fertilizer did not improve the effectiveness the use of vermicompost in promoting growth and yields of organically grown groundnuts.
... Vermicomposting which is a green technology that converts organic wastes into plant available nutrient rich organic fertilizer (Piya et al. 2018)is also found to reduce the content of heavy metals(Xin et al. 2016)and reduce the amount of dye in industrial effluent (Ribeiro 2021). The ability of vermicompost to decrease content of heavy metal is because of bioaccumulation of heavy metals by the earthworm tissues (Xin et al. 2016). ...
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Industrial effluent is wastewater generated after its use in an industrial process. Wastewater treatment acts as a water conservation tool, as in this process suspended solids and other pollutants are removed, which leads to the prevention of groundwater and water pollution, which further helps in minimizing the possible harmful effects of soil pollution on agricultural production and food safety. In recent decades, treating wastewater by different methods has gained significant attention. The role of vermicompost in the removal of pollutants from industrial effluent has been investigated. Vermicompost, which is known to enhance soil fertility physically, chemically, and biologically, can also be used to treat wastewater generated by industrial processes. The industrial wastewater was treated by using vermicompost as an adsorbent and then filtered. In the current review, we summarize the role of vermicompost amendment in reducing the content of toxic metals, namely Cd(II), Cu(II), Pb(II), As(III), and Zn(II), and also its role in lessening the number of various dyes released, specifically methylene blue, Indigo blue, Congo red, Eriochrome black T, and crystal violet. The data revealed that after treatment with vermicompost, the treated effluent had lower values for all the parameters than the untreated effluent.
... The physico-chemical and biological properties of soil can be improved and the structural aggregation of soil can be enhanced to reduce the chances of soil erosion with the use of vermicompost 20 . In many developing countries, the farmers can rarely afford to procure the inorganic fertilizers because of its high price and scarcity 21 . ...
... While Muktamar et al. (2017) reported that nutrient content of vermicompost produced from solid cattle manure contained N, P, K, and organic C as much as 2.15%, 0.24%, 0.55%, and 25.6%, respectively. Indeed, vermicomposting has been shown to enhance crop growth, yield, and nutritional value in addition to soil quality (Piya et al., 2018). Research conducted by Handayani et al. (2018) concluded that the fertilizing mung bean with 15 Mg/ha vermicompost produced the highest plant height, number of productive branches, matured pods and weight of 100 grains, compared to those fertilized with 5 and 10 Mg/ha vermicompost. ...
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Vermicompost is one of increasingly applied organic fertilizer to many vegetable crops in order to reduce the dependency on synthetic fertilizer, including the use of urea as nitrogen source. This experiment aimed to determine the best dosage combination of vermicompost and synthetic urea on growth and yields of mung bean grown in Ultisols. This experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. Treatments consisted of (1) control, no urea and no vermicompost, (2) 50 kg/ha urea + no vermicompost, (3) 40 kg/ha urea + 3 Mg/ha vermicompost, (4) 30 kg/ha urea + 6 Mg/ha vermicompost, (5) 20 kg/ha urea + 9 Mg/ha vermicompost, (6) 10 kg/ha urea + 12 Mg/ha vermicompost, and (7) 0 kg/ha urea + 15 Mg/ha vermicompost. Results indicated that the combination of urea and vermicompost increased plant height, leaf number, branch number, number of nodules/ plant, shoot to root ratio, number of pods/plant, number of pods/plot, grain dry weight/plant, grain dry weight/plot, and total yield /ha, but not days to flowering and weight of 100 grains. The best combination to increased growth and yields of mung bean was 12 Mg/ha of vermicompost in combination with 10 kg/ha of urea. This combination produced the highest grain yields/ha (2.1 Mg/ha).
... Therefore, a collective approach which combines the potential of systemic acquired resistance and induced systemic resistance can enhance the defense mechanism in plant besides their individual effect (Choudhary et al., 2007). Several reports advocate soil amendment with vermicompost, which helps to build a pool of available nutrient near root zone to support the plant growth and beneficial microbes (Sahni et al., 2008;Piya et al., 2018). In a recent study, Sahni and Prasad (2020) have shown that PGPR strain in combination with vermicompost amendment enhanced disease resistance against collar rot by producing low but uniform level of defense enzymes in chickpea (Sahni and Prasad, 2020). ...
Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the ability of integration of salicylic acid, vermicompost and bioagent for effective management of chickpea wilt disease. Methodology: The effectiveness of salicylic acid and ZnSO4 unaided and in combination with Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and vermicompost were evaluated against Fusarium wilt of chickpea under natural condition. Three sets of experiment with nine treatments were conducted in earthen pots in completely randomized design. Ten seeds of wilt susceptible chickpea variety JG 62 were sown. Twenty-days-old plants were sprayed with salicylic acid (Set I), ZnSO4 (Set II) and distilled H2O (Set III). After 24 hr of foliar spray, the whole set of treatment was inoculated with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri inoculums, except uninoculated control. The number of wilted seedlings in each pot for each treatment were recorded at 10, 20 and 30 days post-inoculation (dpi) and compared with uninoculated pots. Results: The combined effect of vermicompost amendment @15% and pre-inoculation treatment of salicylic acid showed 0.00, 6.67 and 6.67% wilt incidence whereas treatments having ZnSO4 as pre-inoculation foliar spray resulted in 0.00, 13.33 and 13.33% wilt incidence at 10, 20 and 30 dpi, respectively. Further, the combined treatment of 15% vermicompost along with seed bacterization and pre-inoculation foliar spray of salicylic acid showed complete protection against F. oxysporum f. sp. ciceri. The beneficial effect of vermicompost and PGPR isolate on root and shoot length, and fresh and dry weight of chickpea plants were also observed. Interpretation: High potential for integrating vermicompost, bioagent and foliar application of salicylic acid to surrogate chemical fungicides for eco-friendly and sustainable management of wilt disease in chickpea.
... Animal manures, including goat manure, are considered as good nutrient provider, P, Ca, Mg and K, for plants (Almeida et al., 2019). The use of vermicompost improved the quality of growing medium in terms of soil pH, aggregates, bulk density, waterholding capacity, organic matter, micro and macro-nutrients as well as soil biological properties (Piya et al., 2018). In addition, the use of manure application also elevated enzyme activities in provoking nutrient availability for plant (Šimon and Czakó, 2014). ...
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Soybean growth and yield could be improved by combining the application of natural functional fungal species of Trichoderma with goat manure organic fertilizer. Results indicated that the use of bio-activator enriched goat manure significantly influenced plant height, shoot fresh weight, number of mature pods and grain weight per plant, but not weight of 100 grains. The use of Trichoderma significantly affected the grain weight per plant and weight of 100 grains. However, it did not significantly influence in plant height, shoot fresh weight, and number of mature pods. The best composition of bioactivator-enriched goat manures was stale rice+cow blood+goat manure, or cow rumen+cow blood+goat manurein which produced higher number of mature pods and grain weight per plant than those of fertilized with synthetic fertilizer. In addition, Trichoderma amendment on black soybean increased the number of mature pod and weight of 100 grains. The application 15 g plant-1 was considered the recommended dosage of Trichoderma for black soybean production.
... Vermicast or vermicompost is a decomposition product of organic materials resulting from the interaction of earthworms and associated microorganisms. They are rich in macroand micro-nutrients, soil beneficial microorganisms, plant growth-promoting substances, and antibiotics and hence have better performance during field application [2]. Most of the growth-promoting traits of vermisources are believed to be contributed by the beneficial microorganisms present in it. ...
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Organic agricultural practice using vermisources is considered as one of the common sustainable strategies in agriculture. Apart from their nutrient content, beneficial microbes associated with natural vermicast serve as an efficient bioinoculant for improving agricultural productivity. Hence, studies on the identification of suitable microbial inoculants with multi-trait plant beneficial properties from these hotspots are highly promising as an ecofriendly substitute against harmful chemical fertilizers. The current study has been designed to isolate bacterial strains with various plant probiotic and biocontrol properties against various fungal phytopathogens. Among the various bacteria obtained in the study, the isolate W11 was found to have remarkable inhibitory activity against a broad range of phytopathogens like Fusarium oxysporum, Pythium myriotylum, and Rhizoctonia solani, in addition to its multiple plant growth–promoting properties. The W11 was further identified as Bacillus sp. by 16S rDNA sequence-based analysis. The W11 treatment was also found to enhance the plant growth parameters of Vigna unguiculata. In addition, the priming of Bacillus sp. W11 on potato tuber has confirmed to protect it from Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum. This highlights the possible protective effect of W11 during the post-harvest storage of potatoes. Also, the metabolite analysis of W11 extract by LC–QTOF-MS/MS analysis has revealed the presence of lipopeptide surfactin derivatives with m/z of 1008, 1022, and 1036 (M + H)+. All the results obtained in the study thus indicate the remarkable agricultural promises of Bacillus sp. W11 isolated from vermicast. Even though vermicast has been studied for its beneficial agricultural applications, the isolation of plant beneficial bacteria from it and detailed characterization of its beneficial effects make the study important.
... Piya et al. 57 stated that the method of vermicomposting not only enhances soil quality, plant growth and productivity but can reduce heavy metal concentration according to the feedstock used. Heavy metal present in wastes can be reduced by vermicompost using substrates such as cow dung, spent mushroom compost, goat manure. ...
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Logistic growth of human population, exponential rate in agronomic industries and feeble waste management practices have resulted in the massive generation of organic wastes. Vermicomposting is one of the eco-biotechnological practices to efficiently transform them into stable and nutrient-rich organic manure with the synergetic actions of earthworms and soil microbiota. Vermicompost, a derivative product has the desirable physicochemical traits such as excellent porosity, buffering actions, aeration and water holding capacity. Also the presences of enzymic and microbial secretions contribute to growth and disease resistance of the crops. Owing to the benefits of soil nutrients restoration and effective organic waste management, vermicomposting has gained much attention among the scientific researchers and organic farmers. The present review is intended to provide comprehensive information on the site selection, screening of earthworms, different modes of operation and their desirable micro-environmental conditions. Also, the review has critically identified the prevailing research gaps viz. limited studies on the substrate formulation or optimization designs, poor control on the operational variables, lack of field-level investigations, technological feasibility of scale-up process, economic viability and cost-benefit analysis. Prospective researches can be made on these hotspots to identify the vermicomposting as a successful and profitable business model in the circular economy.
Vermicomposting is a low-technology, environmentally friendly process used to treat organic waste. The resulting vermicompost has been shown to have several positive impacts on plant growth and soil health. This organic fertilizer is therefore increasingly considered in agriculture and horticulture as a promising alternative to inorganic fertilizers and/or peat in greenhouse potting media. Vermicomposting is a green technology that converts organic wastes into plant available nutrient rich organic fertilizer. It has also been found to reduce heavy metal concentration in contaminated feeding materials. Vermicompost (VC), when used as fertilizer, not only bears positive impact on soil quality, plant growth and yield but also enhances nutritional value of crops produced. Use of VC on soil improves its physiochemical (aggregation, stability, pH, EC, bulk density, water holding capacity (WHC), organic matter (OM), micro-and macro-nutrients.) and biological properties (microbial population, enzymes). It also increases soil structural stability and reduces vulnerability of soil to calamities like erosion. Use of VC in plant growth enhances their development in early as well as latter stages of plant growth but proper concentration of VC must be considered for optimum plant growth and production.
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Solid waste management has become one of the vital issues to protect health and public safety. Preparation of organic manures like vermicompost, Farm Yard Manure (FYM) etc. from various organic wastes (agricultural wastes) will save our environment from pollution as well as application of these manures in agricultural land prevent those lands from the harmful effect of chemical fertilizers. With these views keeping in background for saving our environment from ill effects of indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers by substituting them partially or entirely through applying organic manures after converting agricultural wastes into wealth (organic manures), an experiment was carried out in the farmer's field at village Shikarpur (P.O. Bhagirathi Shilpashram, Dist. Nadia, Pin. 741248, W.B., India) during the year 2008 to 2010 with two crops (rice –rainy season and Lentil –winter season). The experiment was laid out in randomized block design with 5 treatments (T 0-without fertilizer or manure, T 1-100% organic through vermicompost, T 2-100% organic through FYM, T 3-100% chemical through fertilizer and T 4-50% organic through mixed organic manure + 50% chemical through fertilizer) replicated 3 times. It has been found that the vermicompost treated soil showed better result in comparison to that demonstrated by the chemical fertilizers in terms of soil physical and chemical properties as well as productivity of soil.
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Vermicomposting is proven to be an effective way for nutrient cycling, converting large quantities of organic waste into value added product (vermicast). In order to harness the potential of earthworms in vermicomposting, selection of earthworm species that are able to consume large quantity of waste, and moreover, produce vermicast with high nutrient content is important. This experiment was carried out to compare the efficacy of Perionyx excavatus (PE) and Eudrilus eugeniae (EE) in vermicomposting rice straws. Ten earthworms were introduced into each vermibin containing grinded rice straw. The vermicast produced was collected periodically. The experiment was terminated when 70% of rice straw had decomposed. The plant nutrient contents and humic acids in vermicast were analysed. Vermicast of PE contained higher concentrations of total and available N, P, K and Mg while EE vermicast contained higher total and available Ca. Humic acid content was also found to be higher in EE vermicast. EE took 134 days while PE took 171 days to complete vermicomposting, thus, plant nutrient content generated per day in vermicast EE was higher compared to PE. Using EE in vermicomposting would contribute significantly towards practicing sustainable agricultural by recycling large amount of organic waste rice straw into value added high plant nutrient content vermicast.
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The aim of this study was to investigate impact of vermicompost on chemical and biological properties of an alkaline soil with high lime content in the presence of plant under the open field conditions in semiarid Mediterranean region of Turkey. The study also included farmyard manure and chemical fertilizers for comparison and was conducted in two consecutive growth seasons in the same plots to observe any cumulative effect. Plots were amended with fertilizers in different rates and celery (Apium graveolens L. var. dulce Mill.) was grown as the test plant. In general, vermicompost appeared to be more effective to increase organic matter, N, P, and Ca compared to farmyard manure. Soil alkaline phosphatase and ß-glucosidase activities, especially in the second growth season, were significantly elevated by the vermicompost application. Urease activity, however, appeared not to be influenced by the type of organic fertilizer. A slight but statistically significant difference was detected between organic amendments in terms of number of aerobic mesophilic bacteria with vermicompost giving the lower values. Results showed that, in general, vermicompost significantly alters chemical and biological properties of the alkaline soil with high lime content during celery production under field conditions compared to farmyard manure and that it has a high potential to be used as an alternative to conventional organic fertilizers in agricultural production in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.
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Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is one of the popular vegetables, especially rich in iron, vitamins and other minerals. Poor soil fertility and inconsistent light intensity, due to unfavorable weather condition, reduce okra performance. Response of two okra varieties (‘NH47-4’ and ‘Clemson spine’) to different rates of compost (0, 5, 10 and 15 t/ha), under different light intensities (L0: control (no reduction) or 100% light intensity, L1: 33%, L2: 46% and L3: 76%, light reduction) were assessed in pot and field trials. The experimental design was a factorial experiment fitted in a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Data on growth and yield attributes were collected. The results showed that the reduction in light intensity (L3) increased the numbers of fruits and leaf area by 50 and 47% respectively on the field, but delayed flowering. High light intensity (L0) though enhanced leaf area formation and early flowering, but hastened leaf senescence and abscission. Compost generally increased growth rate, leaf area and dry matter accumulation of the two okra cultivars compared to control under varying light intensities. Compost at 15 t/ha performed better and increased fruit number by 66% on the field. Between the two cultivars, ‘Clemson spine’ responded better than ‘NH47-4’ plants in terms of yield. Low light intensity (76% light reduction) in combination with higher compost rate however enhanced prolonged fruiting and leaf formation in the two okra varieties. The application of compost at 15 t/ha is therefore recommended for optimum yield of okra under low light intensity.
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Vermicompost plays a major role in improving growth and yield of different field crops, vegetables, flower and fruit crops. The utilization of organic residuals reduces production costs and eliminates the need for landfill disposal and incineration. Vermicomposting is an appropriate alternative for the safe, hygienic and cost effective disposal of urban waste. The present study has been carried out to find the potency of vermicompost using Musa paradisiaca (banana peel) waste and Eudrilus eugeniae earthworm as it effectively decomposes the waste. To analyse the efficiency of vermicompost the physicochemical parameters like pH and the level of macro and micronutrient content namely nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, iron and copper in the vermicompost has been studied. The enzymes (amylase, cellulase and invertase) and total macronutrients (N, P and K) and micronutrients (Fe and Cu) showed elevated levels in vermicompost than control (raw waste). The efficacy of vermicompost has also been checked and studied on the vegetable plant Solanum lycopersicum (tomato). The growth parameters namely root length, shoot length and number of leaves has been studied. Finally, it has been compared with the plants grown using chemical fertilizer (NPK). Hence based on the studies performed it was concluded that vermicompost obtained from the degradation of Musa paradisiaca (banana peel) waste by Eudrilus eugeniae is an effective biofertilizer which would facilitate the uptake of the nutrients by the plants resulting in higher growth and yield.
Utilization of different types of solid wastes through composting is important for environmental sustainability and restoring soil quality. Although drum composting is an efficient technology, the possibility of heavy metal contamination restricts its large-scale use. In this research, a field experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of water hyacinth drum compost (DC) and traditional vermicompost (VC) on soil quality and crop growth in an agro-ecosystem cultivated intensively with tomato and cabbage as test crops. A substantial improvement in soil health was observed with respect to nutrient availability, physical stability, and microbial diversity due to the application of drum compost and traditional vermicompost. Moreover, soil organic carbon was enriched through increased humic and fulvic acid carbon. Interestingly, heavy metal contamination was less significant in vermicompost-treated soils than in those receiving the other treatments. The use of VC and DC in combination with recommended chemical fertilization effectively stimulated crop growth, yield, product quality, and storage longevity for both tomato and cabbage.
The aim of this work was to evaluate the total content and speciation of heavy metals (As, Cr, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) during vermicomposting of sewage sludge by Eisenia fetida earthworm with different additive materials (soil, straw, fly ash and sawdust). Results showed that the pH, total organic carbon were reduced, while the electric conductivity and germination index increased after a combined composting - vermicomposting process. The addition of bulking agents accelerated the stabilization of sludge and eliminated its toxicity. The total heavy metals after vermicomposting in 10 scenarios were lowered as compared with the initial values and the control without amendment. BCR sequential extraction indicated that vermicomposting significantly decreased the mobility of all heavy metals by increasing the residual fractions. The activity of earthworms and appropriate addition of amendment materials played a positive role in sequestering heavy metals during the treatment of sewage sludge.
The aim of the present investigation was to study the effect of vermicompost prepared from two different aquatic weeds on eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) growth and yield under greenhouse conditions. The experiment was conducted at the botanical garden of Annamalai University during December, 2011 to June, 2012. Vermicompost was prepared from cow dung and aquatic weeds i.e., Azolla and Eichhornia by using earthworms (Eudrilus eugeniae). The pot experiment was conducted with four treatments via T1–(Control), T2 (Cow dung), T3 (Azolla), and T4 (Eichhornia). The experimental results showed significant variations in plant growth and yield on par with the physico-chemical properties of different vermicomposts. The growth characters of brinjal such as plant height, number of leaves per plant were observed at 20th day, 40th day and 80th day from the date of planting. There was maximum value of growth parameters observed in egg plant treated with Azollavermicompost followed by Eichhornia-vermicompost and cow dung-vermicompost. The yield parameters such as number of days for flowering, number of fruits per plant and fruit length and width also showed similar trend of growth parameters. The investigation clearly reveals that the biochemical properties of vermicompost play a major role in the growth and development of egg plant.
An obvious need for an updated and comprehensive study prompted this investigation of the complex of environmental and economic costs resulting from the nation’s dependence on pesticides. Included in this assessment of an estimated $9.6 billion in environmental and societal damages are analyses of: pesticide impacts on public health; livestock and livestock product losses; increased control expenses resulting from pesticide-related destruction of natural enemies and from the development of pesticide resistance in pests; crop pollination problems and honeybee losses; crop and crop product losses; bird, fish, and other wildlife losses; and governmental expenditures to reduce the environmental and social costs of the recommended application of pesticides. The major economic and environmental losses due to the application of pesticides in the USA were: public health, $1.1 billion year; pesticide resistance in pests, $1.5 billion; crop losses caused by pesticides, $1.4 billion; bird losses due to pesticides, $2.2 billion; and groundwater contamination, $2.0 billion.