Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture. Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control. The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.
The study was conducted to assess the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ socioeconomic condition and soil environmental quality in Bangladesh. A total of 450 (i.e., 50 focal, 150 proximal and 250 control) farmers from five districts were selected for this study. Descriptive statistics like sum, averages, percentages, etc. were calculated to evaluate the socioeconomic data. Using Enyedi’s crop productivity index, it was found that the crop productivity of focal, proximal and control farmers was increased by 0.9, 1.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively. The result of DID (Difference-in-difference) analysis indicated that the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ average annual income was significant. Multidimensional poverty index (MPI) indicates that poverty in terms of deprivation of health, education and living standards was decreased; and a remarkable improvement in farmers’ socioeconomic status was found after adopting conservation agriculture practice. Most of the focal and proximal farmers stated about increased soil environmental condition where majority of control farmers stated about constant environmental condition in this regard. The Probit model reveals that minimum tillage operation, permanent organic soil cover, and application of compost and vermicompost were found significant factors affecting soil environmental quality under conservation agriculture. Input support, motivation, training programmes and extension services are recommended to implement in order to raise the awareness and enrich the knowledge of the farmers on conservation agriculture practice.
Biodegradable solid waste disposal and management has been a major problem in Nigeria and indiscriminate dumping of this waste either into watercourses or drains has led to environmental hazards affecting public health. The study investigated the nutrients level of pit composting and vermicomposting. Wooden bins 60 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm3 in size were constructed and bedding materials (sawdust, egg shell, paper and grasses) and red worms (Eisenia fetida) introduced to facilitate the free movement and protection of the worms against harsh weather. A pit of 100 cm × 100 cm × 100 cm3 was dug and worms were introduced into the pit, which was turned every two weeks. Food waste was fed to the red worms in the bin and pit, respectively. The composts were harvested after 100 days and analysed. The analyses gave: nitrogen has average value 0.87 % and 1.29 %; phosphorus 0.66 % and 1.78 %; potassium 4.35 % and 6.27 % for the pit and vermicomposting, respectively. Higher nutrient status of vermicomposting over pit composting may be attributed to the secretions in the intestinal tracts of worms which are more readily available for plant growth. However, iron and aluminium were more in the pit compost than the vermin compost and this may be attributed to the iron and aluminium already present in the soil before the composting took place. Other nutrients in ppm concentrations were aluminium 4,999.50 and 3,989.33; iron 2,131.83 and 633.40 for the pit and vermicomposting, respectively. These nutrients are only needed by plants in small quantities. Hence, vermicomposting has the higher concentration of essential nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth.
The present study is aimed at alteration of sewage sludge into stable compost product using vermicomposting of sewage sludge mixed with cattle manure and saw dust in five different proportions based on C/N ratios (C/N 15 (R1), 20 (R2), 25 (R3) and 30 (R4); and control (R5)) by employing an epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida. Higher reductions in C/N ratio, CO2 evolution and OUR were observed in R4 demonstrated the compost stability. In addition, R4 proved to be best combination for the growth of the earthworms. In order to observe the optimal degradation, kinetics for degradation of organic matter in vermicomposting were quantitatively evaluated. An approach model was developed by assuming that composting process is carried out in a homogeneous way and the kinetics for decomposition reaction is represented by a Monod-type equation. The results exhibit comparable variations in the kinetic constants Km and K3 under varying parameters during vermicomposting process. Results suggested that higher R2 value in R4, enhanced suitability towards Lineweaver-Burke plot. R4 yields higher degradability coefficient (K) reveals that the occurrence of optimal nutrient balance, which not only enhanced the affinity of enzymes towards substrate but also improved its degradation process. Therefore, it can be proved that R4 provided to be the best feed combination for vermicomposting process as compared to other reactors.
Waste corn pulp was investigated as a potential feedstock during vermicomposting using Eisenia fetida. Corn pulp is the major staple food in Southern Africa and constitutes about 25% of the total organic waste. Wastecooked corn pulp was blended with cow dung in the ratio 6:1 respectively to optimize the vermicomposting process. The feedstock was allowed to vermicompost for 30 days. The vermicomposting took place in a 3- tray plastic worm bin. Moisture content, temperature, pH, and electrical conductivity were monitoreddaily. The NPK content was determined at day 30. During vermicomposting, moisture content increased from 27.68% to 52.41%, temperature ranged between 19- 25◦C, pH increased from 5.5 to 7.7, and electrical conductivity decreased from 80000μS/cm to 60000μS/cm. The ash content increased from 11.40% to 28.15%; additionally the volatile matter increased from 1.45% to 10.02%. An odorless, dark brown vermicompost was obtained. The vermicompost NPK content was 4.19%, 1.15%, and 6.18% respectively.
Soil microbial activity is adversely affected by pollutants such as heavy metals, antibiotics and pesticides. Organic amendments including sewage sludge, municipal compost and vermicompost are recently used to improve soil structure and fertility. But, these materials contain heavy metals including Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni and Cu that are toxic to soil microorganisms and may lead to occurrence of more tolerant microbes. Among these, Pb is the most abundant and has more negative effect on soil microbial ecology. In this study, Pb levels of 0, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 mg Pb [as Pb(NO3)2] per kg soil were added to the pots containing 2 kg of a loamy soil and incubated for 6 months at 25°C with soil moisture of - 0.3 MPa. Dehydrogenase activity of soil as a measure of microbial activity was determined on 15, 30, 90 and 180 days after incubation. Triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) was used as an electron acceptor in this assay. PICTs (IC50 values) were calculated for each Pb level and incubation time. Soil microbial activity was decreased by increasing Pb level during 30 days of incubation but the induced tolerance appeared on day 90 and thereafter. During 90 to 180 days of incubation, the PICT was gradually developed by increasing Pb level up to 200 mg kg-1, but the rate of enhancement was steeper at higher concentrations.
Wastages such as grated coconut meat, spent tea and used sugarcane had contributed negative impacts to the environment. Vermicomposting method is fully utilized to manage the wastes towards a more sustainable approach. The worms that are used in the vermicomposting are Eisenia foetida and Eudrillus euginae. This research shows that the vermicompost of wastages has voltage of electrical energy and is able to light up the Light-Emitting Diode (LED) device. Based on the experiment, the use of replicated and double compartments of the component will produce double of voltage. Hence, for conclusion, this harmless and low cost technology of vermicompost can act as a dry cell in order to reduce the usage of hazardous chemicals that can contaminate the environment.