Characterization of Vermicompost for Major Plant Nutrient Contents and Manuring Value
Keywords:Soil fertility, Vermicompost, Feedstock, Eisenia fatida, Agro chemicals
The study was conducted at Bako Agricultural Research Centre (BARC) during 2015–2016.The experiment was designed to characterize vermicomposts prepared from residue of main crops in the area and animal wastes in terms of major plant nutrient composition in order to identify the best quality compost. Fourteen types of bedding and feed materials combination were used as a treatment which was transformed in to vermicompost after 3 months to give a uniform humus like loamy material. Laboratory analysis of the vermicompost for its chemical property and nutrient composition revealed that unlike the pH value of conventional compost which falls in alkaline array detrimental to growth of plants, the pH values of all type of vermicompost were found in suitable range for plant growth. In terms of % organic carbon, CN ratio and total nitrogen content, all types of vermicompost has out smarted the conventional compost significantly. The vermicompost obtained from the combination of maize stover, niger seed residue and sheep manure as well as that produced from combination of soybean residue, Niger seed straw and sheep Manure have shown higher value of 2.42%. . However, these types of vermicomposts were found to be very poor in other primary and secondary plant nutrient elements. With regard to other plant growth limiting nutrients the vermicompost produced from soybean residue and cattle manure scored a higher value in total phosphorus, total potassium and total magnesium. The result of this study indicated that in spite of supplying other macro and micro nutrients needed for plant growth, 4.64 tons of this vermicompost can replace the recommended amount of urea(92 kg N), supplying simultaneously 139 kg of DAP (64.49 kg P205), an amount which exceeds the blanket recommended dose of phosphorus for maize. Thus, by virtue of the accessibility of raw materials, simplicity of its production and better availability of the nutrient contained in it to the plant, utilizing the vermicompost of soybean straw and cattle manure has a paramount importance in enhancing crop productivity and improving soil fertility.
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