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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. .

salamanders.6.8 7. cats.Factors influencing vermiculture        Food Moisture 50% Temperature 40 800F Light pH . dogs. rats Aeration . snakes. toads.2 Predators ants. birds.

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

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

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

6 weeks.    The next day remove the leaves and add some more garbage in a separate place. Cover it with leaves again and sprinkle some more water. . 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. Repeat the above procedure till the pot is full. Compost would be ready after 5 . but sprinkle water daily.

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Vermicomposting in process .

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

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

Sprinkle cowdung slurry on the heap .Methods of Preparation (Commercial level)     The compost can be prepared in concrete tank. Collect and heap the weed biomass under sun for about 7-10 days.52. Could be used Suitable plastic tub/basin/structure may also be used. Chop the biomass required. of appropriate length (depending upon the availability of raw materials). and height 1.0 ft. Ideally a tank with breadth 3 ft.

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

      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. Sprinkle water to maintain 70-80% moisture content. (vermicast). Provide shade over the compost mixture to protect from rain water and direct sunlight. Stop sprinkling of water when 80-90% bio wastes is decomposed. Collect the vermicompost by scrapping layerwise from the top of the tank and keep it under shade.

Screening of earthworm species .

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

Vermicomposting Controlled Environment .

Vermicomposting.Protected by Greenhouse .

8 1.36 500-1000 ppm 1000-2000 ppm .4 0.4 0.5 22 .3 0.5 0.0 0.5 1.2 0.5 2.8 1.5 2.Nutrient concentration of vermicompost Nutrients           In Percent Nitrogen : Phosphorus : Potash : Calcium : Magnesium : Sulphur : Iron : Copper (ppm) : Zinc : Maganese : 1.2 1.5 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Worm castings vs. Vermicompost is a combination of :     Worm castings OM and bedding at various stages of decomposition Organisms such as worms and cocoons Microorganisms .

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

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

50.000 farmers and 500 entrepreneurs have adopted this process Vermicompost is now being utilized in over 1. Powai . Bombay s garbage problem Indian Institute of Technology.Status in India    Over 15.000 hectare cultivated area in almost all agro-climatic zones in India.

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Internal Earthworm .

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

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

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