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Physical properties of vermicompost produced by locally isolated earthworms from temperate Kashmir region

Author: 
Tabinda Sehar, Zargar, M. Y. and Baba, Z. A.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Earthworms were collected from three different locations (Wadura, Shalimar and Gulmarg). Mature earthworms and their cocoons collected from various sites at each location were pooled together forming a composite sample. The earthworms from each location were identified at (Centre of Research for Development, P.G. Department of Environmental Science, University of Kashmir) and mass multiplied in appropriate media. The species Eisenia foetida, Apporectodea rosea and Apporectodea caliginossa were identified from Wadura, Eisenia foetida and Apporectodea caliginossa were identified from Shalimar and Eisenia foetida and Apporectodea caliginossa were identified from Gulmarg. Preliminary screening of the identified worms from each location was carried out on the basis of vermicomposting potential to select the best isolate for further studies. Apporectodea rosea, Eisenia foetida and Apporectodea caliginossa from Wadura, Shalimar and Gulmarg were selected for vermicomposting process. An experiment was carried out in vermibeds of 3 x 10 feet at vermicomposting unit to develop the nutrient and microbe rich vermicompost using locally isolated earthworms and standard species, Eisenia foetida. The experiment was laid in completely randomized design which comprised of 16 treatments of 4 waste combinations including cow dung and mixture of organic wastes (kitchen wastes, municipal waste, crop residues, sheep/poultry manure, apple pomace) cow dung (24 kg) and organic waste (60 kg). The ratio of waste combinations was maintained as: 0:1 = (0% cow dung + 100% organic waste); 1:1 = (50% cow dung + 50% organic waste); 1:2 = (33% cow dung + 67% organic waste); 1:3 = (25% cow dung + 75% organic waste). The results indicated that the Eisenia foetida isolated from Shalimar proved to be having the best vermicomposting potential due to its individual capability and better adaptability to the local temperate conditions as compared to standard Eisenia foetida and other local isolates.

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