Introduction 
 



It was first recognized by Aristotle. Later on Darwin documented the importance of it in breaking down the dead plant materials. 3600 species worldwide About 510 species belonging to 67 genera and 10 families have been recorded from Indian subcontinent.

Common Species 
   

Lumbricus terrestis Night crawler Allolobophora caliginosa Grey worm Allolobophora chlorotica Green worm Lumbricus rubellus Red worm Eisenia fetida Red Wiggler

Vermiculture & Vermicomposting 

Vermiculture is
the culture of earthworms 

Vermicomposting is
using earthworms and microorganisms to convert organic waste into black, earthysmelling, nutrient-rich humus. Vermicompost is an ecofriendly natural fertilizer prepared from biodegradable organic wastes and is free from chemical.

Earthworm species suitable for vermicompost production  

  

Anyone of the following earthworm species may be used for preparation of vermicompost - Eisenia foetida - Amynthas diffringens - Eudrilus eugeniae - Perionyx excavatus

.    Three species of earthworms are generally used in India for vermicomposting: Eudrilus eugeniae ( African Night Crawler) Eisenia foetida ( Tiger Worm/Red Wiggler) Perionyx excavatus (India Blues) These may be easily obtained from any organization / farm in your place practicing vermicomposting.

2 Predators ants.Factors influencing vermiculture        Food Moisture 50% Temperature 40 800F Light pH . birds. dogs.8 7. rats Aeration . cats. salamanders. snakes. toads.6.

 Cooked eggs & shells  Coffee grounds & filters  Onions & potatoes  bread.Foodstock  DO s  Fruit & vegetable scraps  Grains & cereals. cake  Leaves  Plant cuttings  DON Ts  Non-Biodegradables  Plastic  Glass  Rubber  Pet feces (cats)  Toxic materials  Plant cuttings treated with herbicides or insecticides .

Raw materials required  Cow dung and any other biodegradable wastes such as crop residues. bio-degradable portion of urban and rural wastes etc. vegetable wastes. used for the preparation of vermicompost. weed biomass. leaf litter. hotel refuse. . wastes from the agroindustries.

How to do vermicomposting at home    Take a broad earthen pot or an old plastic crate. Put a layer of soil at the bottom. Introduce some earthworms in it. Add a layer of cow dung manure or fresh cow dung on top of this. Put some vegetable peels and leftover food into one corner of the pot . . Sprinkle little water to maintain the moisture. and cover it with a layer of dried leaves.

Cover it with leaves again and sprinkle some more water. Compost would be ready after 5 .6 weeks. . Repeat the above procedure till the pot is full. but sprinkle water daily. Leave the pot for six weeks. Compost is ready when all the garbage has decomposed and the pot is full of dark soil like granular substance.    The next day remove the leaves and add some more garbage in a separate place.

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Vermicomposting in process .

Repeat till 75% of compost has been removed. Remove another layer of compost. The worms would have multiplied by now.How to separate the vermicompost after 5-6 weeks      Uncover the pot and put it in bright sunlight. Remove the top portion of the compost. The worms will again burrow down. . You can use the same pot for further composting. Take half the worms and expand the composting into another pot for composting. The worms are sensitive to light and will burrow down.

flower beds. . etc.WHERE TO USE THE COMPOST ?   Sprinkle the compost into your pots. Dilute this compost with some soil and sand and then use.

Chop the biomass required. of appropriate length (depending upon the availability of raw materials).52. Sprinkle cowdung slurry on the heap . Collect and heap the weed biomass under sun for about 7-10 days.Methods of Preparation (Commercial level)     The compost can be prepared in concrete tank. Ideally a tank with breadth 3 ft. and height 1. Could be used Suitable plastic tub/basin/structure may also be used.0 ft.

Release about 2-3 kg earthworms of any of the above earthworm species over the mixture. . The bio waste : cowdung ratio should be 60:40 on dry weight basis.0 ft.5-2. Place fine bedding material such as partially decomposed cowdung/dried leaves etc. over the soil or sand layer Place the chopped bio-waste and partially decomposed cowdung layer-wise in the tank upto a depth of 1.     Place a thin layer of surface soil/sand (1-2 inch) at the bottom of the tank.

Sprinkle water to maintain 70-80% moisture content. Stop sprinkling of water when 80-90% bio wastes is decomposed.      Cover the compost mixture with dry straw or cloth. Completion of vermicompost could be judged visually by observing the formation of granular structure of the compost at the surface of the tank. Provide shade over the compost mixture to protect from rain water and direct sunlight. (vermicast). Collect the vermicompost by scrapping layerwise from the top of the tank and keep it under shade. .

Screening of earthworm species .

Separation of earthworm and cocoon     Heap the harvested vermicompost for 6-12 hrs under shade for separation of the earthworm. . Dry vermicompost under shade to keep the moisture content below 20 %. Seville vermicompost for separation of baby earthworm and cocoons. Separate earthworms and cocoons for reuse.

Vermicomposting Controlled Environment .

Protected by Greenhouse .Vermicomposting.

5 1.5 22 .3 0.5 1.2 0.Nutrient concentration of vermicompost Nutrients           In Percent Nitrogen : Phosphorus : Potash : Calcium : Magnesium : Sulphur : Iron : Copper (ppm) : Zinc : Maganese : 1.0 0.8 1.4 0.4 0.8 1.5 0.5 2.36 500-1000 ppm 1000-2000 ppm .5 2.2 1.

provides the entire essential nutrient element. encourages new shoots/ leaves and improves the quality an self life of the produce. 2. easy to handle store and apply and does not have bad odour . 3. Provides excellent effect on overall plant growth. Vermicompost is rich in plant nutrients. Vermicompost is free flowing.Advantages of Vermicompost    1.

aeration. 6. P-solubilizers. 8. texture. . Vermicompost is rich in several enzymes and growth regulators such as auxins. water holding capacity and prevents soil erosion. Soil pH is neutralized by the buffering action of vermicompost. gibberellins etc. Vermicompost contains earthworm cocoons and increases the population and activity of earthworm in soil. 5. cellulose decomposing micro-flora etc. Vermicompost is rich in beneficial microflora such as N fixers.     4. Improves soil structure. 7.

11.     9. Vermicompost is free from pathogens. weed seeds etc. Vermicompost minimizes the incidences of pests and diseases in crop. Vermicompost enhances the decomposition of organic matter in soil. . Availability of nutrients from vermicompost is faster due to its narrow C:N ratio 12. 13. 10. toxic elements. Prevents nutrient losses and increase the use efficiency of chemical fertilizers.

Rowta Mangaldoi 200 t 200 t 50 t 50 t . Mangaldai Sh. Bokakhat Sh. Nabajuoti Rajkhowa Lokhowjan tini Ali. Assam Sh. Narendra Kundalia Jorhat. Ghanshyam Upadhyhay Rowta.Vermicompost Marketing Name & Address Production capacity (per year)     Sh. Hiren Sarma.

. Jorhat Sh. Dipak Modi Jorhat. Sivsagar Sh. Deboraj Bordoloi. Subrata Bhowmic. Agartala. Duliajan Sh. Polash Bora Bor Samua Gaon. Assam Sh. Pub Charigaon. Gogoi Charing Baruwati Gaon Charing. Bubul Buragohain Golaghat. Assam Sh.Name & Address  Production capacity (per year)       Sh. Sanjib K. Phanindra Pathak Nagaon 50 t 200 t 50 t 50 t 50 t 200 t 200 t . Tripura Sh.

Ltd. Kolkata Vanashree Agrotech. Vermicompost & Worms Farm. Madurai Protina Agro Products.Vermicompost Manufacturers & Suppliers            Sarva Mangalam Natural Products Pvt. Jabalpur Akshat Farms. Chennai Adeniums India. S Vermi Compost Farm. T. Mumbai . Chennai H. Madurai Samagra Agrotech. Pune Baba Bio Tech. Chandigarh Anushka Vermicompost.. Nashik S. Udaipur Suriya Farms.

the operating cost for preparation of vermicompost generally comes around Rs.Costs and benefits   Apart from infrastructural expenditures. . 3000-3500 per ton in bulk and Rs. 1700-1800 per ton The vermocompost market rate around Rs. 8-10 per Kg.

Commercial Bins  Can-O-Worms       Most popular Enclosed tier system Bottom catch tray & spigot Stackable mesh trays Worms migrate vertically Easy to harvest castings .

Commercial Bins  Worm-A-Way®     Plastic Ventilated Several sizes Lightweight .

Commercial Bins  Worm-A-Roo     Double bin system Plastic Migration device Lightweight .

Bin Care & Maintenance     Provide adequate bin and bedding mixture Maintain moisture level Maintain temperature 60-65° F Provide air circulation in bin via adequate holes   Provides aeration Controls odors by eliminating anaerobic conditions .

Vermicompost   Worm castings are deposits that have moved through the worm s digestive system. Vermicompost is a combination of :     Worm castings OM and bedding at various stages of decomposition Organisms such as worms and cocoons Microorganisms . Worm castings vs.

Pharynx: they push pharynx or throat out of mouth to grab leaves and to pull them back into the mouth.Vermicast formation     They open their mouth wide to fit leaves and other material. Then they wet the food with their saliva. . that food goes to the gizzard. then into the crop. Esophagus: they push that wet food down to esophagus. But they don't have teeth. From the crop. Crop: crop is a storage compartment for their food and other things they swallow.

These muscles work almost like teeth. Anus: Whatever is leftover comes out through their anus as castings or worm poop. Intestine: Once they get the leaves all ground up they move to the intestine where the digestive juices break them down even more. It use any stones that have swallowed and the strong muscles of gizzard to grind up the leaves.    Gizzard: It is where the work happens. some of it will pass into their bloodstream. Bloodstream: Now that the leaf is all digested. .

000 hectare cultivated area in almost all agro-climatic zones in India.50.Status in India    Over 15. Powai . Bombay s garbage problem Indian Institute of Technology.000 farmers and 500 entrepreneurs have adopted this process Vermicompost is now being utilized in over 1.

America = Lumbricidae .Earthworm Taxonomic Details     Phylum Annelida (Latin for rings ) Class Chaetopoda Order Oligochaeta Most common to N.

minerals absorbed from soil . fat.Lifespan of the Earthworm  Lifespan   Conservative estimate: 4-8 years Mortality by accident   Primitive physiology is unchanged Body composition:   70-95% water Balance = protein.

Earthworm Biology  Segmented body somites  Somites equipped with setae    Five hearts Cold-blooded Peristonium = mouth  Prostonium for prying .

but not self-fertilizing Mutual exchange of sperm Ova are fertilized in cocoons    Clitellum: light-colored band .produces cocoons Cocoons contain ~ 4 eggs Eggs incubate 3 weeks .Reproductive System    Hermaphrodites.

Regeneration    Cut a worm in half and you ll have two worms Worm needs at least 13 segments Will re-grow body segments (equal number) .

avoid predators and objects.Nervous System    Brain = a knot of nerves Ganglion serve as impulse centers Super sensitive to touch   Allows worm to select food. and reproduce. Can feel bird s footsteps  Eyes are sensitive to blue light and skin to ultravoilet rays = burrowing action .

sugars. organic molecules.Digestive System   Eats weight in soil & omits daily Processed in alimentary canal    Muscular mixing with enzymes releasing amino acids. Includes microorganisms Molecules absorbed through intestinal membranes  Result: CASTINGS .

Dorsal blood vessel. an organ responsible for mucus production during reproduction 2 .1 -The worm's clitellum. The worm is darker on its upper surface .

the pair of genital setae are used to help bind two worms together while facing in opposite directions .Clitellum. The clitellum includes six enlarged segments (3237). During mating. 2 .1 . an organ responsible for mucus production during reproduction.A swollen area with specialized genital setae (segment 26).

sperm released at the sperm ducts travels posteriorly in the worm's sperm grooves to reach.one of a pair of swollen areas on segment 15 containing the openings of the sperm ducts. 6 . . These are only visible when the worm is in reproductive condition.segment 14 which contains the openings of the female genital pores.3 . The two worms exchange sperm in this manner. 4 . 5 . extending from segment 16 to the clitellum. the seminal receptacle opening of the other worm (located opposite its clitellum). and enter.segment 9 and 10 which contain the four openings of the seminal receptacles.one of a pair of sperm grooves. As two worms mate. These are only visible when the worm is in reproductive condition.

The Internal Earthworm .

This area of the digestive tube is quite muscular 3 . 2 . This area of the digestive tube is thin-walled and not very muscular  .Intestine region of the digestive system.Crop region of the digestive system.1 .Gizzard region of the digestive system.

one of the worm's five pairs of aortic arches. located in segments 7-11.Worm's suprapharangeal ganglia or "brain". 8 . storage organs for sperm that the worm has produced 5 .Esophagus region of the digestive system. . This organ extends through the aortic arch region and connects to the crop. storage organs for sperm received from another worm. This organ of digestion is quite muscular 9 .      4 . One other receptacle is visible 6 . It loops around the pharynx to form the ventral nerve cord that extends the length of the worm.pharynx region of the digestive system. These "hearts" beat and pump blood from the dorsal to the ventral vessel 7 .Ttwo of the worm's six seminal vesicles (located in segments 9-13).Two of the worm's four seminal receptacles (located in segments 9 and 10).

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