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Objectives Introduction Organic Resources Available for Manuring and Composting Compost and Composting Stages of Composting
2.4.1 2.4.2 2.4.3 Mesophilic Stage Thennophilic Stage Curing

Principles of Composting Types of Composting
2.6.1 2.6.2 2.6.3 2.7.1 2.7.2 2.7.3

Aerobic Decomposition Anaerobic Decomposition Vermicomposting lndore Method Bangalore Method Coimbatore Method Mechanical Compost Plants NADEP Method Other Methods of Composting C/N Ratio of the Bedding Materials Blending and Shredding Moisture Temperature Oxygen or Aeration pH

Methods of Composting

2.7.5 2.7.6 2.8.1 2.8.2 2.8.3 2.8.4 2.8.5 2.8.6

Factors Affecting Composting

Vermicompost (Worm Compost) External Features of Earthworm Life Cycle of Earthworm Types of Earthworm Used for ~ermicom~osting Characteristics of Vermicompost
2.13.1 Chemical 2.13.2 Physical

Vermicompost Preparation Advantage of Manures and Compost Disadvantages of Manures and Compost Organic Manure (other than Composts)

2.17.1 2.17.2 2.17.3 2.17.4

Farm Yard Manure (FYM) Gobar Gas Slurry Poultry Manure Green Manure

Composting and Manuring

Concentrated Organic Manures
2.18.1 Oilcakes 2.18.2 Meal Group Manures

Liquid Manures
2.19.1 Liquid Farm Yard Manure 2.19.2 Vermiwash

Let Us Sum up Key Words Further References Model Answers

After going through this Unit, you will be able to learn: Compost, composting and methods of composting; and Types and characteristic of Organic manures (other than compost).

We know, good soil fertility is an important factor in farming. Every organic farmer is keen to build up long term soil fertility and appropriate tilth by adding a variety of natural amendments to the soil. The regular addition of appropriate compost and other suitable organic manures are best to enhance the organic and humus contents in the soil. This help build a fertile soil structure in which the plants make better use of water and nutrients. It is also easier to till and ensure optimum crop yield on a long term basis. Microorganisms make soil alive and productive besides aiding disease and pest resistance. The compost enhances the population of such microbes in the soil.


Composting is the microbiological decomposition of organic matter into a relatively stable humus-like material. Some definitions also include controlled conditions andor final use (as an amendment for plant growth). Composting is a common practice to dispose of and recycle the agro-wastes to valuable organic manures. Organic manure favourably influences the plant growth and development through supply of essential nutrients. It also improves soil structure, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), and water holding capacity. This Unit deals with organic manures that are familiar to the farmers. Large quantities of organic matters are used at present in anunscientific manner can be usefully exploited to add to the productivity and wealth of the nation.

Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management

India has a vast resource of manurial and composting material. Cattle dung and urine, sweepings from cattle shed and streets, forest litter, poultry, sheep and goat droppings, sewage, sludge, biogas slurry, industrial effluents, fish pond effluents, press mud, coir pith, weeds, seaweed residue, tannery waste, by products of slaughter houses, urban and rural solid wastes, agro-industry byproducts such as oil cakes, paddy husk and bran, bagasse and saw dust, fruit andiegetable wastes, cotton; wool and silk wastes, tea and tobacco wastes, marine wastes, tank silt, green manure etc. The nutrient contents of some of the organic manures are given in Table 2.1.
Table 2.1:,AverageNutrient Content of Different Organic Materials Animal
Cow dung fresh Urine


0.10-0.20 Trace

0.10-0.30 0.5-1. O

I Sheep and goat dune fresh
Urine Horse dung fresh Urine Poultry dropping



0.90- 1.20 0.7-0.7 1.5-1.7 0.4-0.5 1.2- 1.50 1.0-1.80 0.36 0.40 0.42 0.65


0.4-06 Trace 0.30-0.40 Trace 1.4-1.80 0.08 0.23 0.57 0.75

1 0 . ~ . ~ 1
1.8-2.0 0.30-0.40 1.30-1.50 0.80-0.90 0.7 1 2.17 1.65 2.50

.Straw or Stalks
Paddv Jowar Maize Bai ra

1 Banana drv leaf


0.61 0.44


0.12 0.10


1. O 0.66


I Dhaincha
(Sesbania aculeata) Sunnhemp Green gram




0.5 1 0.53 0.53

0.75 0.72 0.85

0.12 0.18 0.18

Black gram

Handbook of Agriculture (ZCAR, New Delhi, 1980)

You may say that 'compost' is the final product obtained from composting. Here we shall define both words 'compost' and 'composting' separately. The

This compost is prepared by adding fresh raw material in the already fermenting heap to hasten the microbial activities.e.. composting begins at mesophilic temperature and progresses into the thermophilic range. organic matter and the size and activity of microbial populations.compost is a dynamic. The effectiveness of the composting process is dependent on the environmental conditions present within the composting system i. including bacteria and fungi. smell less.As organic matter begins to decompose. Organic matter is metabolized by microorganisms and consumed by invertebrates. . It is a natural biological process. pioneering work on compost was carried out by Howard and Wad in 1931 at lndore (Madhya Pradesh) and by Fowler at Bangalore (Karnataka). temperature. In this process. millipedes. centipedes. earthy. Now let us define 'composting'. moisture. break down organic matter into simpler substances. This process is useful for offensive material like night soil. The resulting nutrients are returned to the soil to support plant growth.low temperature microbes Mesophiles -medium temperature microbes Thermophiles . This product is stable and can be stored without emitting foul odour or attracting insects. The end product of this natural decomposition is the compost. The product can be directly applied to the soil. Acharya (1939) had also done pioneering work in the area of pit manure preparation. Composting and Manuring The composting process is carried out by three classes of microbes a - Psychrophiles . rendering nitrogen deficiency (temporary) in the soil. fungi. In India. oxygen. granular. Fowler worked out the process of "Activated Compost". In simple tenns 'Composting is microbiological decomposition of organic matter into a relatively stable humus-like material'. The unstable organic compounds in immature compost will begin the composting process in the soil again when it is applied in the soil.high temperature microbes Generally. In this process. Composting is not a mysterious or complicated process. Natural recycling (decomposing and recycling of organic matter) occurs on a continuous basis in the natural environment. spiders and earthworms assist the process. Though this process is temporary. The method is suitable for composting the village wastes and night soil through hot fermentation. other organisms and insects (for examples detritivorous) including actinomycetes. material disturbance. the available nitrogen in the soil may get consumed by the microbes. it affects the initial growth of plants. humus rich and stabilized (no further decomposition) material obtained after the composting. The process is called "Bangalore method of compost preparation". This phenomenon is called nitrogen immobilization. carried out under controlled aerobic conditions (need oxygen). it passes through a sequence of changes. As a result. various microorganisms. In later stages. the soil temperature will rise and may adversely affect the plant growth and development. sowbugs.

This process is referred as volatilization. During composting. the compost becomes relatively stable and easy to handle. The temperature of the composting materials generally follows a pattern of rapid increase to 120140°F (49-60°C). the heap begins to heat up right away and the composting begins.4. 24 . This temperature remains for several weeks depending on the materials. oxygen and the easily degradable components of the raw materials are rapidly consumed by the microorganisms. The pile become active and a series of processes are set in motion.1 Mesophilic Stage As soon as we pilekeap the wastes and ensure proper conditions. the materials will continue to decompose slowly and continue to break down until the last easily decomposed raw materials are consumed by the remaining microorganisms. A curing period usually follows the active composting period. 2. The active composting slows down the temperature and will gradually drop and the compost reaches at ambient air temperatures.4 STAGES OF COMPOSTING You have learnt that the composting is a complex process involving a number of microbes and physical conditions.I i Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Heat Water Vapor 4 . The pH begins to drop as acids are produced. & t ? +COe Gas k . 2. During the initial stages of the process.: What Happens During Composting? Composting may begin as soon as the raw materials are mixed together. The composting consists of the following stages: Mesophilic Thermophilic Curing Now let us elaborate these stages in detail. nitrogen is lost as gaseous ammonia. In this stage. This first phase of composting is called mesophilic stage. The temperature of the windrow or pile is directly related to the microorganism activity of the windrow and is a good indicator of what is going on inside. At this point.__)_ Organic Matter Finished Compost I" 0 2 Fig. the temperature remains below 45OC and microorganisms multiply and break down easily available carbohydrates. 21 Composting Process . In this phase.

2/3rd carbon is evolved as CO.6 TYPES OF COMPOSTING Generally the composting of organic residues is accomplished using any of the following techniques: 1) Aerobic 3) Verrnicomposting 2. This stage is critical'for developing disease-suppressivenessof composts.4.6. The growth of actinomycetes and fungi which digest hemicelluloses is enhanced.3 Curing During this stage. Fungi are more efficient in carbon assimilation than bacteria and actinomycetes.4. Compost derived from night soil is not permitted in organic farming. heat loving (thermophilic)bacteria vigorously degrade the organic materials.en is adequate for microbial activity. The role of cellulytic and lignolytic microorganisms in decomposition of crop wastes is of prime importance. Fly larvae and weed seeds are C destroyed when the temperature rise above to 63 O .2. (Oxygen) the . is emphasis should be given to prepare compost using the on-farm agro-wastes. Temperature will remain in this range as long as decomposable materials are available and oxyg. the quality and hygiene should be ensured. Cornposting and Manuring 2. and remaining 11 3rd combined with nitrogen in the living cell of the microbes. the stability comes in the decomposed materials. its particle size is reduced. Microorganisms involved in the process derive their energy and carbon requirements from the decomposition of carbonaceous materials. You may refer the Appendix of Unit -1 of Course -1 Block for detail information about the restricted and permitted products for composting. In organic fanning. 2. the nest stage is thermophilic. fungi. Pathogens are destroyed as the heat in pile is more (above critical temperature 55 OC).1 Aerobic Decomposition When organic materials are broken down in the presence of 0. As the organic matter degrades. temperature in the centre of pile rises to about 50-65OC. It can last for several weeks.2 Thermophilic Stage After mesophilic. Many important processes take place during this stage. actinomycetes and protozoa). There is a list in the NPOP(Nationa1 Programme for Organic Production) document of 'permitted' and 'restricted' products for the compost preparation. of In the process of composting. If we need to get the composts from out side. As active composting takes place. At this temperature range.5 PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSTING - The biodegradation process is carried out by different group heterotrophic microorganisms (bacteria. The preparation and use of composts for raising the crops under organic farming should comply with the standards prescribed in NPOP (National Programme on Organic Production). The farmer should comply with the standards and produce evidence before the Inspection agency during certification. 2.

ses organic materials into fatty acid. Exothermic energy released during the oxidation of carbon to CO. Loss of carbon and nitrogen.). -+NO.. proteins Organic N Organic S +XO Organic Phosphate (Phytin. nitrogen. In the aerobic process. is equivalent to 484 . Under these conditions microorganisms which utilize O. First. It persists for longer time . cellulose.S. resulting in production of CO. a group of bacteria transforms the intermediate products to methane. As in aerobic process. hydrogen sulfide) is produced during putrification (here only 26 K cal of energy1 gram molecule of glucose is released). sulphur and other nutrients for synthesizing their cell protoplast. (CH. Heterotrophic organisms take energy from the decomposition of organic matter (OM).O) x + S. and humus and releases some of essential plant nutrients. + CH.And H.. 2. Such fermentation takes place in Gobar gas plants also. The energy of carbon is in the form of methane gas and the resultant energy from gobar gas plants is also utilized for cooking purpose and for running engines. Lecithin) + NH3 + XH.O organic P -+ reduced P . Some of the features of aerobic decomposition are as follows: Reduces weight and volume of the pile by about 50%.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management process is known as aerobic decomposition. In this process CH. (methane) production will be more than CO. the organisms use N. +Ca (HPO.674 K Cal/glucose mole.2 Anaerobic Decomposition Anaerobic microbes breakdown organic matter through a process of reduction in the absence of 0. 2H2S+ CO.. Foul odours (H.COOH + CH4+C02 Organic N + NH. Carbon functions as energy source required for cell protoplast. Nitrogen may not be available (due to immobilization) .6.O) X + XO. + light -+ (CH. . The major reactions occur under aerobic decomposition: Sugars.O(water) is also needed for anaerobic process.O + Energy +NO. +SO. the acid producing bacteria (facultative heterotrophs) hydrol. there are no nuisance problems such as foul odour as it happens under anaerobic conditions due to the presence of intermediate compounds. The pile must be turned to aerate. P and other nutrients for developing cell protoplast.O+ 0. hemicellulose. ammonia and CO. Can kill weed seeds and pathogens and degrade pesticides. phosphorus. After that. CH. + H. + XCO. decompose organic matter and assimilate carbon. lignins.PO. (oxygen). +H. aldehydes and alcohol.

hence it should not be directly used. Under the aerobic process of decomposition 40 to 50 % organic matter and nitrogen are lost at initial stage. The average composition of compost prepared by Indore method has been found to have 0. * A - I ~ - -.. 0. Madhya Pradesh. 2. A: Pit for lndore Method Fig. the material is covered with a layer of 2 to 3 cm soil. Organic acids may be phytotoxic.5 % potassium. The detailed description of Vermicomposting has been given separately in this Unit. To ensure 50 % moisture sufficient water should be sprinkled to wet the composting materials.7. I m deep and of convenient length. B: Filling Method of Plt Fig. Heap temperature is lowered. waste materials such as plant residues. Vennicompost is highly suitable for organic farming. The site of composting should be at the high level to avoid rain water stagnation. Periodically three to four turnings are given.3% phosphorus and 1. Cornposting and Manuring 2. Further. In this method.8 % nitrogen.7 METHODS OF COMPOSTING Now let us examine the different methods of preparing the compost.3 Vermicomposting The Vermicomposting is a technique of producing organic compost using earthworms.6.. Gaseous by-products can be made use of. 2. This method of composting. weeds.I 1 I Similarly. We shall be describing the best practices in the practical manual of this Block. the turnings of materials are not always necessary and even decomposition can go on to the desired extent if adequate level of moisture is maintained. Product can be more concentrated source of nitrogen. " for Turning Empty Space Fig. Produces gases. involves considerable labour in preparing heap and periodic turning and becomes labour intensive and impracticable when large quantitiesof materials have to be processed. street refuse and other organic wastes can be composted.1 Indore Method This process was developed by Howard and Wad in 1931 at Indore. animal wastes. anaerobic decomposition has the following characteristics: Odor get emitted during this process. To get proper aeration. however.2: Indore method . The waste materials are cut into small pieces and spread in layers of 10-15 cm thickness either in pits or in heaps of 1 m wide. It is properly moistened with cow dung using earth. The theory of the different methods is given below: 2.

The anaerobic decomposition is comparatively slow but markedly less wasteful. it is unhygienic for human and animals. the town refuse can be composted in above ground heaps of 1 m width. . It has been adopted to solve effectively the problems of safe disposal of night soil and producing high quality compost in the bargain.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Advantages and Limitations The Indore process is not the best method due to the relatively high labour requirement and inadequate protection from rain.2 Bangalore Method Acharya (1939) had initiated the work of composting the town refuse and night soil. Loss of nutrients is rapid. This system provides a method of disposal of various kinds of waste including slaughter house waste. The decomposition of dumped wastes in pits take place largely in the absence of sufficient oxygen except in the surface layer or so. the city wastes are dumped into the trenches to make a layer of 15 cm. this method is suitable to the areas where water and labour availability is scarce. with a final layer of town refuse on the top. 1 m height and of convenient length with refused materials and night soil placed in alternate layers in pits and trenches and placing the final refuse on the top (Gaur et al. compost production points are located just on the outskirts of city for convenient transport of night soil and other refuse to the pits. It could be made dome shape and covered with a thin layer of soil to prevent breeding of flies and moisture loss. High temperature will develop in the lower layers. This process is also called Hot Fermentation Mechanism of composting or the Bangalore method. the C: N ratio is reduced to less than 20 : 1 in about 5 to 6 months and the compost is then ready for use. To begin. sludge etc. Upper portion of heap gradually dries as a result of poor decomposition. 1. Since there is no turning and watering. Under anaerobic decomposition. until it reaches to 15 cm above the ground level. 2. In this process. Sometimes. Then night soil is discharged over this and spread to a layer of about 5 cm. sewage.5 % nitrogen. Even then. Roads of suitable width are provided between rows for the convenience to approach and unload the materials inside the trenches. Negligent handling can cause skin diseases. Sewage water may be sprayed over the layer of refuse.0 % phosphorus and 1. night soil handling is great problem. Advantages and Limitations In this method. 1990). As the material does not receive turning. The composted material obtained by this method will contain 1.7. Through this process. homogenous decomposition of compost does not take place. This heterogeneous mass is allowed to remain as such without turning and watering for about 3 to 4 months. In the absence of pits and trenches. the loss of nitrogen is relatively lower than aerobic decomposition. sun and wind.5 % potassium. The trench is filled with town waste and night soil in alternate layers. the materials decompose faster than in the pits and trenches and can be ready by 3 to 4 months for use. The compost depot should accommodate about 200 trenches with 1 to 5 m spacing between the trenches.

The refuse received is first passed through primary grinder. stones. 2. Decomposition of the organic matter in the waste takes place under aerobic condition.5 to 0. The compost produced this way is rich in NPK contents. pits of size 15'x 6' x 6' (L x W x H) is made from bricks with provision of 6 holes per square meter in the walls. Thereafter.3 Coimbatore Method This is an anaerobic decomposition. Mechanical compost plants of 200 tonnes day and above capacity have been made for converting the city waste into compost. A five cm cow dung slurry is spread over this layer to increase its biodegradation. The compost contains 0.6 % nitrogen. Thereafter the compost will be ready within 4 to 5 months.5 m above ground level.5 % potash with a C : N ratio of 20 : 1 (Gour 1979). This partly fermented garbage is then passed through a secondary grinder or pulverizer and a mechanical vibrating sieve for separating rubber. 4 m length and 1 m depth to a thickness of about 15 cm. Mechanical compost takes less time than the Banglore trench method and there is no nuisance of flies and foul smell. 6: Filling Method of Pit 2. the non compostable matehal such as bricks.Cornposting and Manuring L\ I I Fig. In this way application of farm wastelcrop residue.5 NADEP Method In this method. Alternate method layers of . are removed. plastics etc. Though the cost is slightly higher than the trench method. rubber. resulting reduction in weight.4 Mechanical Compost Plants Indore and Banglore methods are suitable for small cities1 towns to decompose the garbage. After 35 to 40 days turning of material is done to make it an aerobic process. 2.7. volume and moisture content as well as killing of harmful pathogens. Before that. plastics and other tough non-decomposable organic materials. The processed refuse is then kept in pre fermentation yard for 7 to 10 days. Over this layer 1 kg ground rock phosphate is applied to minimize nitrogen loss. First crop residues as well as farm wastes are filled in pits of 2m wide. it is more suitable from the hygiene point of view. 0.7. A: Trench for Banglore Method Fig. it is subjected to aerobic decomposition for 3 to 4 weeks. broken glass pieces. cow dung slurry and rock phosphate is applied in alternate layers till the height reaches 0.6 % phosphorus and 0. After that the piled up material above ground is covered with soil or mud to prevent the entry of rain water. iron pieces.7. and brought to the final fermentation area.

It employs the windrow process.e. In NADEP method of composting. Now let us examine these factors in detail.1 C/N Ratio of the Bedding Materials The ratio of per cent carbon to per cent nitrogen (C: N ratio) defines the relative quantities of these two elements in the crop residues. Wider C: N ratio materials will take long duration to narrow down its C: N ratio. The cereal straw can be decomposed easily with the help of such microbes. This method is also called " Two Weeks Method". plant residues. rural wastes ( 8 inches) followed by FYM (Farm Yard Manure) (4 inches) and soil ( 4 inches) are put in the pit and the moisture about 60-70 per cent is maintained.8 FACTORS AFFECTING COMPOSTING Some of the important factors in decomposition of organic materials are carbon/ nitrogen ratio. France. 2. Barkley campus. 2. Thus. Trichoderma harzianum as a Cellulolytic fungus reduces wider C: N ratio and narrows it. activated sewage sludge or blending by organic residue richer in nitrogen such as legume residues and green leaves. The C: N ratio of organic materials used range from 30: 1 to 80: 1 (given in Table 2. viz. dung slurry and soil are used as raw materials. temperature etc.6 Other Methods of Cornposting These composting techniques are not practiced in India but are a potential tool for decomposition of organic residues.7. the most successful municipal composting method developed in Connecticut. Further. Windrow Method: It is one the In Connecticut. The C: N ratio of manures and composted materials is less than 20: 1. Advantages and Limitations This method is cost effective and easy to handle. moisture and aeration. The process of converting organic materials into the manures is chiefly microbial and therefore influenced by the proportions of carbonaceous and nitrogenous materials those are present in the organic materials to be used. Some of them are as follows: a) b) Barkley Method : Developed in 1953 at University of California. USA. c) d) Beccari Process: This technique is common in Italy. They will not only produce nitrogen rich compost but also reduce pathogcnic burden of the resulting compost. USA . 2. Indore Process of USA: Wiley in 1976 refined the Indore process and named as Indore process of USA.. Rodale and Staff (1971) developed this method.2). blending. the time of composting can be reduced by adding an organic nitrogen source.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management wastes i.8. and USA. .

If moisture content of heap is below 40 % (wlw) decomposition will be aerobic but slow. If the content of oxygen falls below 5 . If moisture exceeds 60 per cent in the pile. The smaller the particles size.8. Optimum temperature range for composting is between 55-60 "C. This will help to brini the temperature down. Too large particles compost slowly. Final product usually contains moisture in the range of 20-40 per cent.8.8. Temperature may go up to 55 "C to 70 "C for 2 to 5 davs and then it cools down to ambient temperature. Decomposition is faster in thermophilic stage. High temperature'is essential for killing pathogenic organism and weed seeds. Verv small particles size mav not compost easily. 2. Microbial decomposition of organic matter occurs on the.2: C: N Ratio of Selected Organic Materials Organic Substance Soil microorganisms Cornlsorghum residue Wheat straw Cow dung fresh Digested slurry Digested cattle dung Compost w Cornposting and Manuring - C :N Ratio 8:1 60 : 1 80: 1 37 to 40. material begins to compact. because the small particles pack and compact which inhibit the inflow of air in the pile. the structural stability of the compost pile is reduced. The moisture acts as an aid for the microbes to draw nutrients required for the synthesis of protein. decreases temperature and lose moisture often. it should be turned or aerated. When it reaches more than 60-62°C within the pileheap. Optimum range of moisture for the composting is between 50 to 60 per cent. : 1 23 : 1 <20: 1 <20: 1 ' 2. surface of materials. If temperature reaches beyond 40°C then mesophilic bacteria are replaced by thermophilic bacteria. With the increasing microbial activities there is increase in the temperature.3 Moisture Moisture is essential for the microbial action. oxygen transfer get inhibited and anaerobic condition develops within the pile.5 Oxygen or Aeration I Aerobic conditions are essential for decomposition.Table: 2. The desirable size of organic matter particles is around 5 cm.8. The shredding may involve lot of labor.Aerobes are micro-organisms that predominate in air rich environment. ) 2. Temperature should be monitored closely.2 Blending and Shredding The blending refers to mixing of different types of organic residues to create favourable bedding for decomposition.4 Temperature This is a key environmental factor influencing biological activities in the composting process. 2. the greater surface area.

The concept of pH was first introduced by a Danish Chemist S.5. At lower pH.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management per cent in the piles. fungi are most dominant organisms facilitating the decomposition. Types of feedstock.5 to 8. The optimum pH rage for most of the biological reactions is between 5. the greater is oxygen requirement. the aerobes starts dying. At high pH. Moisture content. microbial population decline and poor quality compost. bacteria dominates.The name. L. P.5 to 7. and potential of hydrogen (English). Aqueous solutions at 25°C with a pH less than 7 are considered acidic. The amount of oxygen required during composting depends upon: 1) 2) Stage of process-high 0. has have come from several sources likepondus hydrogenii. Check Your Progress Exercise 1 Note: a) Space is given below for the answer. ammonia gas may be generated and this may cause adverse odour.materials with high moisture levels will require large quantities of oxygen. Sorensen in 1909. As the biological decomposition proceeds. b) Compare your answer with that given at the end of the unit. the pH increases to neutral. At pH 6.0. pH. potentia hydrogenii (Latin). potentiel hydrogine (French). while those with a pH greater than 7 are considered basic (alkaline). 1) What do you mean by composting? . levels required early in the compost process. 3) pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.the higher nitrogen content in the feedstock.

.................................2) How does nitrogen immobilization takes place during the decomposition of high CN ratio material? Compostingand Manuring 3) How' compost is prepared? .................................................. 4) What do you mean by verrnicomposting? ...................................

It is rich in Nitrogen (N). Boron (B). Potassium (K). In this Unit. Zinc (Zn). To emphasize their importance in soil fertility. They are called "Natural Bio-Reactor". Sometimes it is said that "earthworms are the pulse of the soil. The conversion of organic wastes by earthworms into compost and their (worm) multiplication are simple process and can be easily hand. The municipal waste. Earthworms eat organic materials. It is the final product obtained after breakdown of organic matter by earthworm. For example.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 2. healthier the soil". pass it through its digestive system and excrete in the form of small pellets called Vermicompost. Aristotle said that "Earthworms are the intestine of the earth". Copper (Cu). The word Vennicompost originated from Latin word "Vermes" which means Worms. Cobalt (Co). Magnesium (Mg). we shall be describing the theoretical aspect of the earthworm like life cycle. The earthworm body and its internal organs are illustrated below : Fig.3: Sketches of Internal Organs of Earthworm . The most common earthworm species recommended for vermicomposting are Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubellus. Sulphur (S). Earthworms are an important component of soil fertility. let us understand physiology and other associated features of earthworms. non toxic solid and liquid waste of the industries and house hold garbage can also be converted into vermicompost. Calcium (Ca). Worins not only convert garbage into valuable manure but also keep the environment healthy. Vitamins and growth IEarthworms in action promoting hormones. taxonomy and characteristics of different species of earthworms recommended for vermicomposting. Now.9 VERMICOMPOST (WORM COMPOST) Verrnicompost or worm compost is the most preferred manure in organic farming. Charles Darwin said that "all the parts of fertile land must have at least once passed through the bodies of earthworms".led by the farmers. several quotations are available. healthier the pulse.2. The method to prepare Vermicompost and other associated activities will be dealt in the practical manual. Phosphorus (P).

Symmetry j.Composting and Manuring Peristomiurn Prostomium Prostomium Female Generative Male Generative Rows of Setae Anus BA) (A) Ventral View of Earthworm. Earthworm body has bilateral symmetry. Insects. jellyfish. spiders. In some species of earthworms. The number of segment varies from 85-111. the left side of the body would be identical to . (B) Magnified View of Anterior Three Segments 2. This means that they do not have a backbone. the body may be composed of over 100 segments. This means that if you cut the earthworm down the centerline.10 EXTERNAL FEATURES OF EARTHWORM The common features and body parts are described below. cylindrical body that is divided into similar segments. However. Two pairs of male pore (spermethical pore) are situated in 17h segment while female pore is single one opening generally in 14h segment. and millipedes are some examples of invertebrate animals. Segmented Body You will notice that earthworms have long. The grooves that extend around the body of the worm show the arrangement of the segments. Invertebrates Earthworms are invertebrates. 90 segments are found in many species.

Body Colours One of the key features of an earthworm is the colour of its body. The clitellum is often white or orange in colour.%:. && dkL# L.rrT. [ .!b. Tubercula Pubertatis (TP)(indicated by arrow) The Tubercula Pubertatis (TP) is another structure used to identify earthworms. . &L. :-*. The peristomium contains the mouth parts. and shape. & .!. . Young or juvenile worms do not have a clitellum. The prostomium is a sensory device. Earthworms do not have nose.-A.I ' . they depend on their prostomium and sensory receptors in their skin to "feel" their way.<L&k&. :. . Some species of earthworms have a dark-red or red-violet body while other species are muddy-green. .TTTY.I I- ' I . rn . or annular. . ----' . > . The clitellum of different species of earthworm has a distinct colour. saddle-shaped. ..L2 .. This is an important characteristics to identify different species. . Y. Instead.T Adult (sexually mature) earthworms have a distinct swelling called clitellum.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management the right side. It is generally found between segments 26 and 33.!h&. .. or hands to gather sensory information about their environment.-2y. . The TP are glandular swellings located on both sides of the clitellum.l. These are the openings through which follicles of genital setae open. -. The Clitellum can have any combination of the following shapes: (Cross sectional view) li!?i 0 Non-flared (Lateral View) ventral view The clitellum is only found on adult worms. ears..3{..:-:. It produces most of the material secreted to form earthworm cocoons. ....::: [I. .! j.. ' f .: : The first body segment (mouth) !. :. r. I? Dorsal viewof apmstorniurn Epllobic tygolobld PrOStomium Some species of earthworms have a tongue-like lobe above the mouth called prostomium. non-flared.-. Genital 'Ibmescences (GT)(indicated by arrow) The Genital ~ e s c e n c e(GT) are the areas of modified s epidermis (skin) that do not have distinct boundaries. . size.~~:.. Another key structure found on the clitellum is the tubercula pubertatis.: -.c . rg....+. The clitellum forms a band that can be flared. . L Clitellum ( indicated by arrow) $!<'i. . The shape and location of the Tubercula Pubertatis (TP) on the clitellum are key features used to identify mature earthworms. .-..1 :. Peristomium ..Ti:y'-y. is called the peristomium. eyes..! : t.!~l.7 -.

have tiny bristlelike structures called setae. The longer region is the posterior or tail end of the earthworm. I Source: www. Maturity takes place in about 1 '/2 to 2 months. This end of the worm is usually more pointed than the posterior end of the animal. After two to three weeks. which crawl on the surface. (Cross Sectional View) closely Paired I $ I Each segment. . Epidermis The epidermis is the name for the skin of an earthworm. it is the anterior or head -end of the worm (the shorter region to one side of the clitellum). the cocoons are laid out during March to October. Ventral The bottom-side of the earthworm body is called the ventral surface. Its size and color varies with species to species. Each Cocoon contains-1-5 eggs. Thus. clitellum is shed out as Cocoon. It is the outer layer of worm and it secretes a 2. young worm emerge out and start living freely. The prostornium is the first segment at the anterior of the animal. a worm completes its life cycle in 3 and 3 '/2 months. The dorsal surface of some species of earthworms is darker than its ventral surface. Periproct: The periproct is the last segment of an earthworm body. Two individuals copulate by putting their heads opposite directions to each other. These structures help the earthworm to move and act to sense the environment. In case of Eisena foetida. Dorsal The top-side of any animal is called the dorsal surface.11 LIFE CYCLE OF EARTHWORM Earthworms are segmented elongated tubular apodous. Cornposting and Manuring Anterior Located on the clitellum of a mature earthworm. hermaphrodite creature. Posterior Located at the clitellum of a mature earthworm. After some time of copulation. The number and arrangement of setae are important clues to the identification of earthworms. There is a spinal shaped structure over male and female pore called Clitellum.The pattern and location of the GT are important clues to identifying different species of earthworms.naturewatch. egcept the first and last.

The earthworms of this group live in deep soil sub-surface.13 CHARACTERISTICS OF VERMICOMPOST 2. Mix species culture of earthworms is recommended for best result in vermicomposting. help in soil aeration and improvement. makes vertical burrow. A classification of the earthworm has been presented below based on their habitat and feeding habits: 1) Epigeics : Surface dwelling worm.1 Chemical Characteristics1Nutrient Percentage EC (electrical conductivity) 28. These are best suited for vermicomposting. They are soil formers. They are partially suitable for the vermicomposting. Eudrilus eugeniae: 2) Anecics : These are sub-surface dwellers .38 copper 0. The Zoological Survey of India.37 Phosphorus 0. IAA.12 TYPES OF EARTHWORM USED FOR VERMICOMPOSTING The earthworms belongs to five families: Lumbricidae.cytokinin. antibiotics. Eudrilidae. Out of these five families. Not suitable for the vermicomposting.14 OC (Organic carbon) 11.38 Zinc 0.37 Carbon 4. Kolkata. West Bengal may be approached for the identification of earthworm species. Octochaetona thurstoni belongs to this group. animal waste.vitamins. The example of this class are : Eisena foetida. feeding extensively on litter.58 Potassium 0. Lampito mauritii is earthworm species of this group.025 Enzymes (phosphatase). PGRs ( traces . 3) Endogeics : These feed on organically rich soil and make horizontal burrowing. Eisena foetida.4 Magnesium 0.03 Nitrogen 7. Eudrillus eugenae and Perionyx excavatus are the important earthworm species used for vermicomposting.13.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 2. Feed primarily on litter and excreta of other organisms. 2.16 Iron 0. Eudrilidae and Megascolecidae) are important for vermicomposting earthworms species. Octchaftidae and Monilicastridae. first three (Lumbricidae. These are more energetic and quick in action. and other organic residue. Megascolecidae.

2 Physical 1) 2) Porous. The windrows are prepared on a cemented floor and a shade is provided over it to protect against the sunshine.2mm.2. plant and environment. Composting and Manuring 3) 4) Odour less. 2.14 VERMICOMPOST PREPARATION The detailed methodology for preparing the Vermicompost shall be described in the practical manual. It promotes better root growth and nutrient absorption. e It improves soil aeration. Dark brown in colour. 1) What do you mean by Anecics species of earthworms and why these are not suitable for vermicomposting? . The Windrow Method is the best method for the commercial Vermicompost preparation. . b) Compare your answer with that given at the end of the unit. High water retention capacity. having particle size of 0. It improves water retention capacity of soil because of its high organic matter content. It does not have any adverse effect on soil. 5) Advantages of Vermicomposting Vermicompost is an ecofriendly natural fertilizer prepared from biodegradable organic wastes and is free from chemical inputs.2-2. Check Your Progress Exercise 2 Note: a) Space is given below for the answer. High CEC 9cation Exchange capacity). texture and tilth thereby reducing soil compaction. It improves nutrient status of soil-both macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients.13.

... or potassium............. Nutrients become available to plant roots at a slower rate with compost compared to inorganic fertilizers................................................ ................ ....................15 ADVANTAGES OF MANURES AND COMPOST Most plant nutrients in compost are in an organic form.................. explain? 2............................................................. Therefore.... elaborate? 4) What is liquid manure......................................... 3) What are the concentrated organic manures........................................... ... are they more suitable in comparison to that of solid organic manures....... ..............................................................Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 2) Enumerate the advantages of vermicomposting? ......................... Although compost is not high in nitrogen.. these nutrients are released slowly over a period of time.......... phosphorous............................................................... (about 2% only)..............................

9 inches of water per square foot of soil after seven years of compost applications. I t . humic matter contents and overall fertility. Acts as a source of food for soil microbes and maintains microbial activity.16 DISADVANTAGES OF MANURES AND COMPOST There is not any disadvantage in using the composts but it may cause detrimental effects if not produced and used correctly. bedding materials and unutilized cattle feed. the organic matter content increased from 5. Other advantages: Excellent soil conditioner. urine. 2 m wide and 1 m deep. Increases soil organic. which increases nutrient availability and reduces leaching. plants manage deeper root penetration. r P i Disease organisms may remain active in the organic matter. phosphorus and potassium applied as compost is usable by the crop during the first year and more becoming available in the years that follow. The trench may be divided in 1 m sections. Only a fraction of the nitrogen. 2. decreases soil bulk density and increases infiltration rate of water.And water holding capacity of the soil went up from 1. Increases soil buffering capacity. Increases carbon dioxide in plant canopy or in plant with restricted air circulation. Improve soil structure.1 Farm Yard Manure (FYM) The Farm Yard Manure (farmyard manure.9% to 12.the nutrients are less likely to leach out. which allows the soil to function at optimum levels and get optimum yield.17. 1 2.6%. For example: Addition of raw organic materials could invite termites. Reduces A1 (aluminum) and Fe (iron) toxicity in acid soils. These materials are collected and placed in a trench of 6 m long. When each section is filled up to a height of about 0. the top of the heap is rounded off to the .5 m above ground level. Reduces soil bulk density. The real benefit of adding compost to the soil lies in its ability to increase soil organic matter levels. It supplies growth promoting substances such as hormones. Research studies have shown that if one inch thick layer of leaf compost is annually applied and incorporated into the soil over a 12 year period.17 ORGANIC MANURE (OTHER THAN COMPOSTS) 2. Improves the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). Lead to overall soil aggregate stability. CompostingandManuring . . cattle manure) consist of a mixture of cattle dung.3 inches to 1.

All that is required is to raise the birds on litter of chopped up straw.3 Poultry Manure Poultry dropping can be transformed into potent organic manure in the deep litter built up system.. The plastering will save nitrogen and moistur:: and prevent fly nuisance. Information Leaflet.2 Gobar Gas Slurry As we know.17. manure will be ready for use. that use of cattle dung as a source of fuel without losing its manurial value is the basic objective of a Gobar Gas plants. 1990). Bacteria get to work in the mixture and a year later the manure is ready for use. New Delhi. Well rotten manure will contain 0. One ton of manure can be produced by keeping 33 to 40 birds over a year time span.17.5 % nitrogen. Ready poultry manures contains 3 % nitrogen. 2 % phosphorus and 2 % potash along with other trace elements and growth hormones. 1962 Fig. 0. Pipe Condensed Water Trap Pit Fermention Well Ledge Wheel Cock GI.25 % phosphorus and 0. The nitrogen in . Such losses are prevented by the pit method. leaves or saw dust.5 % potash. Its gas is used as a source of energy and slurry can be used as manure. such as nitrogen..2. Five to six buckets of water may be sprinkled before plastering to ensure sufficient moisture.99 % nitrogen.4: Gobar gas plant 2. turned over once a week. The anaerobic digestion of cattle dung and litter in the Gobar Gas plant yields a combustible gas (a mixture of methane and acetylene) useful for lighting and cooking purposes as well as good quality manure containing 1.Z.76 % phosphorus along with a C: N ratio of 23: 1 (Gaur et al. A sketch of Gobar gas plants is shown below: .R. 0. Deep litter is built up from the bacterial breakdown of litter material and droppings from the birds. Bend with Wheel Cock Hose Pipe Spent Slurry Receiving Pit Source: Z.Soil Fertility an* Nutrient Management shape of a dome and plastered with earth and cow dung slurry. The pit should be protected from rain. B C D E F G H i J N P R S T V W Counter Poise Weight Supporting Wire Iron Pulleys Feeding Pipe Pver-Flow Channel Feeding Pipe Casholder Suporting Pipes GI. Within 4 to 5 months.A. 2. The farmers' practice of storing dung and litter in exposed heaps above ground is defective and leads to loss of manurial ingredients.

? An Ideal Green Manure Crop should Posses the Following Traits: Show early establishment and high seedling vigor. Possesses early onset of N fixation and its efficient sustenance. Improves microbial activities in the soil. Have an ability to accumulate large bio mass and nitrogen in 4-6 weeks. Quickly decomposable. There are two type of green manure. These green materials are spread on the field and kcorporated in to the soil. The practice of green manure is adopted in various parts of India according to soil and climatic conditi'ons.poultry manure is more quickly available compared to other organic manures. Green leaf manuring (ex situ): Tender green leaves and twigs are collected from shrubs and trees grown on waste lands and bunds. Since only leguminous plants are preferred. The vegetative mass should be succulent by nature. Tolerant to drought. Improves soil organic matter content. b 1 Green manuring in situ: When green manuring crops are gown in the field and buried in the same field is known as green manuring in situ. cowpea (Vigna sinensis). The commonly grown shrub is Glyricidia (Glyricidia malulata) and karanj tree (Pongamia pinnata) etc. mung (Vigna radiata). Therefore. shade. . Effect of Green Manuring on the Soil Supply nutrients particularly nitrogen to the crops. it should not be applied to the crops much in advance as we apply the FYM. some non-leguminous plants are also used if they are locally available. The desired crop is grown and turned into the soil at the flowering stage. Improves soil health. Leguminous plants are largely used as green manure due to their symbiotic N fixing capacity. Easy to incorporate in the soil.17. sunnhemp (Crotolaria juncea) and guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba). flood and adverse temperature. Before sowing of the crop.4 Green Manure Green manuring may be defined "as a practice of turning green plants tissues grown in the field or taken from outside for improving the structure as well as fertility of the soil". the green biomass should be fully decomposed. Commonly grown crops for green manure are Dhaincha (Sesbania aculeata). C~mposting Manuring and 2. it adds more nitrogen. The growing of green manure is ideal during the monsoon season.

7 1.O.8-0.3 4. They are also known as organic fertilizers.2 5.O 1.6-1.2-1.2-5.1 2.4 1.9-4. dried and powdered. These non-edible cakes can be used as manure. fish meal.1-5.(%) Potash &O(%) 1.9 0.9 1.9 0.2 6.68 2.18.0-101 1.0-7. The non-edible cakes like mahua (Madhuca indica).4-6.5-1.09 1.1 1.0-2.3 1. Some cakes are edible such as groundnut.5-5.5 1.1-1.3: Average Nutrient Content of Oil Cakes Materials a) Non Edible Oil Cakes 1) Castor cakes 2) Mahua cakes 3) Karanj cake 4) Neemcake 5) Safflowercake b) Edible Cakes 6) Cotton seed cakes (decorticated) 7) Cotton seed cakes (un-decorticated) 8) Groundnut cake 9) Linseed cake 10) Niger cake 11) Rapeseed cake 12) Sesame or ti1 cake 13) Jatropha (Handbook on Fertilizer Usage 1986) Nitrogen N (%I 5. Horn and hoof meals are prepared by grinding them after roasting and drying properly.4-1.4 1.4 1. The oil cakes are fast mineralizing manures.4-1.18. Bone meal is prepared by treating crushed animal bones with steam. even then they should be applied well before the crop is seeded.2-1.2. . They are organic in nature and contain higher amount of primary plant nutrients compared to bulky organic manures. sesame and mustard cakes.8-2. neem.6 4.9 1. It is a good source of phosphorous.0 5.9 1.9.8-1. meat meal etc.3 2.3 Table 2. blood meal. The nutrients content of various oil cakes are given in the Table 2.5 1.4-1.5 3.4 Phosphate P.3-1. often used for cattle feed.8-1.3 4.1.3 1. which are normally not used for manuring.1.8-1. bone meal. karanj. blood.5 2.5-5.1 Oil Cakes You know that cakes are obtained after extraction of oil.7-4.3-1.1.1-2.8.9 1.0 7.8 2.2 1.3-1.3 1.9-4.2-6.5-2.8-1.9 6.8 5. Common concentrated manures are oilcakes.6 1.18 CONCENTRATED ORGANIC MANURES The concentrated organic manures are the byproducts of the animal and plant industries. 2.6 3. castor and jatropha (Jatropha curcas ) are not suitable for cattle feed due to the presence of some toxic substances.9 2.8-1.2 Meal Group Manures Meal group of manures are horn meal.0-1. meat and fish meal etc.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Manaerement 2. hoof meal.

The content is diluted with equal amount of water before application. Sometime the adverse soil physiographic conditions also encourage application of liquid manures.0 5.4.4: Nutrient Content of Meal Group Manure Materials Nitrogen (N %) Phosphate (P.7 0. Remove gunny bag from the drum and add 200 to 250 g of molasses.0-2.O-1.Z.Blood meals are prepared by evaporating its water to dryness.19. The average nutrient content of these manures are given in table 2. Liquid manures can also be used to mitigate the nutrient deficiencies in standing crops.8 0.1 Liquid Farm Yard Manure The liquid farm yard manure can be easily made and applied as foliar application. %) Potash (K. New Delhi).O %) CornPosting and Manuring Dried blood Fish manure Bird guano Hoof and horn meal 10.A.6-0. 2.0-8.4-0.5 1 .0-10.O..0 4. Fish meals are prepared by drying and powering the fish.O-. The addition of molasses increases the adhesiveness hence improves the efficacy.5 3. After a period of 20 to 25 days liquid manure is ready for spraying on the plants. When completely dried.0-9.0-3.O 0.5: Preparation of liquid Farm Yard manure . Table 2. 12 0. it is powdered and bagged.0 - Activated sludge Settled sludge 3.0 1 .5 2.5-0. 2. Five to seven kilos of cow dung along with equal quantity of green leaves of leguminous plants are filled in a gunny bag and immersed in a drum containing fresh water. The water of the container is to be stirred for five minutes every day.0 7.0 14.3-1. It has been observed in various experiments that plants absorb nutrients 20 times faster through leaves compared to the roots.They are required in less quantity in comparison to that of solid manures.5 Handbook on Fertilizer Usage (F.5 2.0-3.5 1 .0-6.19 LIQUID MANURES Liquid manures are prepared for direct use on the plant as foliar application. Fig. 2.0 11.0-12. The efficacy of these liquid manures is more as the plant can absorb them directly from the leaves.0-14.

Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 2.48 + 0. green manures etc. Detailed methodology to prepare the vermiwash shall be dealt in the practical manual. Vennicomposting is an ideal method for compost production.0. may also be used in organic farming. This wash water is called vermiwash. which can safely. the wash water is collected in a storage this Unit that composting and manuring helps to improve the soil fertility under organic farming.79 x 103 1.5: Characteristics of Vermiwash .06 & 0.01+0.05 25 -r.040 0. Table 2. The vermicomposting has been found most suitable technique of compost production. .19. The vermiwash contains the body stickers.01 & 0.20 LET US SUM UP We have seen . poultry manures.46 x 103 2.58 2 0. The organic residues are decomposed adopting a number of techniques.12 x 103 1.02 2 0. The vermiwash is a very good foliar spray.01 x 103 1. Several forms of organic manure are available.44 -+ 23.001 1.008 0.005 1.001 158.001 applied in organic farming.2 8? 1 3*1 0.69 -r.03 0. The students may be able to learn different dimensions of composting and manuring with the help of this Unit.001 0. enzymes and other secretions of earthworm. The NPOP document contains lists of permitted and no-permitted matters for compost production and utilization in organic farming.03 0. PH Electro conductivity dSIm Organic Carbon % Total Kjeldhal Nitrogen 5% Available Phosphate % Potassium (ppm) Sodium (ppm) Calcium (ppm) Copper (ppm) Ferrous (ppm) Magnesium (ppm) Manganese (ppm) Zinc (ppm) Total Heterotrophs (CFU/ml) Nitrosomonas (CWIml) Nitrobacter (CFUIml) Total Fungi (CFUIml) Eco-science Research Foundation.2 Vermiwash Vermiwash is the liquid fertilizer collected after the passage of water through a column filled with worm (earthworm). blood meal. Other organic manures like oil cakes. While washing. Chennai 7. The vermiwash is prepared by putting the isolated earthworms from composts and subsequent washing of them.25 -+ 0.42 0.

finally used as organic matter.21 KEY WORDS Aerobic Anaerobic : : Composting and Manuring Conditions with oxygen gas as a part of the environment. These manures are bulky in nature and supply. decompose the organic matter and lower the C:N ratio of the refuse. sesbania. The final product of composting is well rotten manure known as compost. waste lands and nearby forest areas. Any crop or plant grown and ploughed under when succulent to improve the soil especially by addition of organic matter. A mass of rotted organic matter made from waste or a product obtained by the controlled decomposition of organic wastes. plant nutrients in small quantities and organic matter in large quantities.5 % nitrogen 0. A practice of ploughing or turning in to the soil un decomposed green manure crops in the same field where the crop is grown. The decomposed manure is called farmyard manure or farm manure or barn yard manure. This beneficial effect is due to improvement in the physical condition of the soil and also due to unutilized plant nutrients. The average composition of well rotted FYM is 0.3 % P20.5 % K20. and 0. This refers to the residual beneficial effect of application of farmyard manure on the succeeding crops. The common shrubs and trees useful for this purpose are glyricidia. with straw or other materials used as the absorbent. A biological process in which microorganism of both types. An organisms that survives in the absence of air or molecular oxygen. The excreta of animals dung and urine. This refers to turning under of green leaves and tender green twigs collected from shrubs and trees grown on bunds. karanj and subabul. A crop grown and ploughed down while still green to add dry matter and nitrogen to the soil.2. namely aerobic and anaerobic. It is estimated that only one third of nitrogen present in FYM is utilized by the first crop. Bulky Organic Manures : Compost : Composting : Green Manuring : Green Leaf Manuring : Green Manure Crop Green Manure in Situ : : Y Manure : Residual Effect of Manure : .

J. Accordingly. The sludge is obtained by treating sewage by different methods. and Dargan. S. 0. Kalyani Publishers. New Delhi. digested activated sludge and chemically precipitated sludge.S.V. K. Maheshwari. Vaidya..(1998).P. AgriHorticultural Publishing House. Bikaner (Rajasthan). Hand Book on Fertilizer Usage.G and Sahasrabuddhe.C. (1970). and Donahue. Yawalker.K. Compost. (2000). (1986).3 to 0.C. P. and Khanna. Manures and Fertilizers. Neelakantan. (1974). S. I. S. . R. The Fertilizer Association of India. Srivastava.. Bali. The biological degradation and stabilization of organic wastes by earthworms and microorganism is termed vermicomposting. sludge of different types is formed. The well decomposed.. A.P. New Delhi. sludge contains 1. Agro Botanica.75 to 4.S. Pune (Maharashtra). K. (In) Soils their Chemistry and Fertility in Tropical Asia. activated sludge.0 % phosphorus and 0.Agrawal.and Bokde. Fertilizer and Manure. Sludge : The solid potion of sewage.. Gaur. Fertilizer News 19(12):39-43.R. S.C.L. D.K. On an average. S. Motiramani.S.C. V.5 to 3. Organic Manures.(1990). Organic Manures as Supplement to N Fertilizer. more of less stable part of the organic matter of the soil. Green Manures. (1992). Tarnhane. Hand Book of Soil.P.R. D. Gupta.. New Delhi..P. It is the present capacity of a soil to produce crop yield under a defined set of management practices.R. It is the inherent capacity of a soil to supply nutrients to plants in adequate amount and in suitable proportion.Y. Nagpur (Maharashtra). digested sludge. Various types of sludge are settled sludge.22 FURTHER REFERENCES Das.Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Similarly about two third of the phosphate is effective but most of the potash is available for the first crop.S. Seetharaman. O.P. and Yadav.A. It is measured in terms of the yield in relation to the input of production factors. (1970). Manures. Continental Prakashan. Organic Manures (In) Introduction to Agronomy and Soil and Water Management. B. Soil Fertility : Soil Productivity : Vermicompost : Humus : 2. Biswas. Prentice-Hall of Private Limited. New Delhi. Sawdust and Sewage.6 % potash. Manures and Fertilizers.5 % nitrogen.

and Mukherjee. Biswas.D. (1986). Vermicomposting is a technique of producing compost with the help of earthworms. Bangalore Method. Beccari method etc. the microbes start taking up available nitrogen in the soil for their maintenance.Hill Publishing Company Limited. Scientific Publishers (India). Organic Farming: Theory and Practice. take up the nitrogen available after decomposition and also from soil (available form). (1994).P. 3) 4) Check Your Progress Exercise 2 1) These are sub-surface dwellers. animal waste.. away from light. The worms eat the organic matter and excrete in the form of small pellets known as Vermicast.A. but are other potential methods of decomposing the organic residues. Vermicomposting. And any technique may be used to decompose the organic residues on farm. Jodhpur (Rajasthan). I. 2) The compost is prepared adopting a number of techniques as described in this Unit.R. Indian Farming 53(12):6-9. This is also called Vermicompost. There are some other techniques which are not prevalent in India like Indore Process of USA. Agrobios (India) Jodhpur(Rajasthan). hmpito mauritii is earthworm species of this group. help in soil aeration and improvement. . New Delhi. New Delhi Palaniappan. O. Singh (2003). vermicomposting etc. NADEP Method.23 MODEL ANSWERS Check Your Progress Exercise 1 1) Composting is a process adopted decomposition of organic residues to generate a product called compost. Vermicomposting: Sustainable Agriculture. Tata McGraw. Composting and Manuring 2. the microbes while in action of decomposition. This way the plants are starved and a temporary deficiency of nitrogen exit.T. feeding extensively on litter. (2003).P. the compost is stable. and Annadurai. During microbial action on high C N ratio.P. K.K. and other organic residue. S.Gupta.R. . S. The composting involves microbial and chemical degradations of organic residues. They are partially suitable for the vermicomposting. Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Use (In) Text Book of Soil Science. we need energy. makes vertical burrow. Y. As we know that to perform action. The vermicompost is rich in nutrient content and is more favourable for application in organic crop raising (organic farming). Chawla.N. They are less suitable for vermicomposting because they have tendency of going down and down. These techniques are like Indore Method. (2003).P.K. earthy and odour less. The earthworms are spread over the beddings (which consist of different organic residues). After proper composting. Srivastava and S. Lal.C. O. In the same line. Advances in Biogas Technology.

Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 2) Vennicompost is rich in all essential plant nutrients. Sometime the adverse soil physiographic conditions also encourage application of liquid manures. The efficacy of these liquid manures is more as the plant can absorb them directly from the leaves. Liquid manures are prepared for the direct use on the plant as foliar application. The product obtained after application of Verrnicompost has been found tastier in comparison to that or products obtained after application of inorganic fertilizers. phosphorus and potash than other organic manures. 3) 4) . Commonly used concentrated organic manures consists of oil cakes and meal group manures. It also encourages the growth of new shootsfleaves and improves the quality and shelf life of the produce. They are required in less quantity in comparison to that of solid manures. These concentrated organic manures are slow releasing in nature as they undergo decomposition after application. Provides excellent effect on overall plant growth. The concentrated organic manures are organic in nature and contain higher percentage of essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen. It has been observed in various experiments that plants absorb nutrients 20 times faster through leaves compared to the roots. Liquid manures can also be used to mitigate the nutrient deficiencies in standing crops.