Interplay of Bedding Materials and Harvesting Time on Vermicompost Yield and Quality
As bedding material characteristic highly determines the yield and quality of
vermicompost, this study was conducted to investigate the effect of different animal
manure beddings and harvesting times on worm and compost production
efficiency and quality. The study was conducted at Vermiculture unit of Holetta
Agricultural Research Center (HARC) in lath house from December to February
2018. The study consisted of two- factors: the first factor (bedding manures) had
two levels (cattle manure and donkey manure), while the second factor was
harvesting time (HT) having four levels (45, 60, 80 and 90 days). The setup had
three replications and laid in CRD. Once the manures were spread and left open
for 20 days, they were mixed with feeding material faba bean straw at 3:2 ratio
(w/w) and moistened to 65%. E. fetida was loaded at a stocking rate of 0.25 kg
worm/5.3 kg substrate. The result depicts that BM and HT interactions
significantly (p≤ 0.05) affected worm number, worm biomass, and vermicompost
yield. D45, D60 and D80 have got the highest worm yield in their order. C60
ranked 4th in worm yield. As to vermicompost yield and quality, we saw yield
increasing trends in both cases. However, D60 and C60 were not statistically
inferior to C90. Vermicompost quality lacks trend across HTs but donkey manure
decreased initial pH and increased AvP (%) whereas cattle manure did not.
Generally, BM and HT interactions alter vermicultural and vermicompost yields.
Donkey manure at 45 was good combination to vermiculturing. Such works need
to be worked out by considering mixing of potential materials.