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VERMI-COMPOST, COMPOST MANURE AND SYNTHETIC FERTILIZER | Which is Best for you?




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In Vermicompost, there is addition of living microorganisms to ground, in vermicomposting process there is breaking down of complex organic matter into simpler substances which is rich in nutrients provided to plants to enhance its growth and productivity. Vermicompost encourages organic and sustainable farming. On the other hand, Manure is formed from decomposition of dead plants and animals. Manure also assists in organic farming that is promotes growth of plants by using natural ways. Whereas, Synthetic Fertilizers is dependent on chemicals to provide plants with some nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, that is, Synthetic Fertilizers have several negative effects on environment and it discourages organic and sustainable farming.


VERMICOMPOST

It is a product that is formed from a process by which complex organic substances breaks into simpler substances by the action of microorganisms, a process known as Decomposition. Decomposition of organic substances is done by various species of worms (Red wigglers, White worms, Earthworms). As a result of vermicomposting, a mixture of decomposing organic material is formed. Vermicomposting is also known as Vermicasting is a natural, odorless and aerobic process. It is different from traditional composting.

In vermicomposting, rearing of worms is done which is called as Vermiculture. Vermicast is the end product of decomposition process. It is also the worms faeces. Vermicast contains less contaminants and higher amount of nutrients than the material before vermicomposting.

Now, the question arises that “vermicompost is either a fertilizer or a manure?”

Since vermicompost contains water-soluble nutrients therefore it is nutrient-rich organic fertilizer. It is in the form that is easy for plants to absorb them therefore vermicompost is the organic fertilizer.



USES OF VERMICOMPOST

1. Vermicompost enhance soil fertility physically (aeration is increased, more porous soil, more water retention capacity), chemically (pH, organic matter content) and biologically.


2. It is a technique used for used for domestic waste water management. Since as we know, sewage treatment plants are used to treat harmful contaminated waste water and produce a safe effluent. But there is a by-product known as sewage sludge which is used as a fertilizer in agriculture fields since sewage sludge have numerous pathogens in it. To manage the organic waste, sustainable practices are needed which can be achieved by vermicomposting of organic matter where the waste products are put to productive use.


3. It is used in organic farming and sustainable farming.


4. It is rich in nutrients, that is, it is a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer which when applied to our crops in the field, helps them to grow well and have better yields.


5. It is used in improving productivity of our crops.


6. Since vermicompost contain higher amount of nutrients therefore it also acts as a good plant regulator.


7. It also has an appropriate amount of proteins therefore it is also used as an alternative in aquaculture food.


8. If we apply appropriate amount of vermicompost in our field at regular intervals, it will have positive effect on our crops, that is, it promotes plant growth, keeps plants healthier and also enhance plant’s immune system, that is, fights from various fatal plant diseases.


STEPS TO VERMICOMPOSTING

1. Prepare the bin.

2. Find a spot to place the compost bin at appropriate place.

3. Shred paper into thin strips to make bedding for worms.

4. Add organic material and wait for about 2 weeks for microbes to grow.

5. Add worms (preferably Red worms).

6. Feed the bin, not the worms because worms will eventually eat the microbes on organic material inside the bin, that is, put good food into the bin.

7. Harvest the casting in few months from bin that can be used as a fertilizer.


BENEFITS OF VERMICOMPOSTING

1. It increases plant growth.

2. It decreases plant diseases.

3. Increases porosity and microbial activity in soil.

4. It increases water retention capacity of soil.

5. It encourages organic farming and reduces the need for chemicals and therefore has positive effects on environment.

6. Also decreases amount of waste in landfills and therefore improves the quality of our ground water.


MANURE


It is organic matter used as organic fertilizer. Manure mostly contains animal faeces. It improves fertility of soil since it adds nutrients(for example: Nitrogen) to soil. The organic matter added is used by various microorganisms present in soil such as bacteria, fungi etc. the higher organisms which feeds on these soil microorganisms forms a chain of life that further forms soil food web.

There are various concentration of nutrients present in soil based on which manures are divided into:- bulky organic manures and concentration organic manures.


COMPONENTS OF MANURE

1. Nutrients

2. Organic matter

3. Solids

4. Energy

5. Fiber


USES OF MANURE

1. It is used as compost since composting decreases odors and kills harmful pathogens and stabilize manure for easy handling. Compost is easy to apply. Compost have higher availability of Phosphorous, Potassium and other nutrients.


2. It improves soil quality and provides nutrients for plant growth.


3. It improve soil structure, increases water retention capacity of soil, that is, it improves physical conditions of soil.


4. It is a source of energy a Biogas (formed anaerobically and generates heat or electricity that can be used in farms. Biogas has higher amount of methane), Bio-oil (it is different from petroleum. Can be produced by growing algae with manure nutrients), Syn-gas( can be formed by gasification. Composed of mixture of water vapour, hydrogen gas, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen gas and hydrocarbon gases).


5. It is used to produce fiber.


TYPES OF MANURE

· Green manure

· Farm yard manure

· Compost manure


ADVANTAGES OF MANURE


1. It provides various macro nutrients to our crops which enhances its productivity.

2. It improves soil fertility.

3. It is cost-effective.

4. It improves physical properties of soil by increasing aeration, porousity and water retention capacity of soil.

5. Methane gas evolved can be used as a source of energy for cooking.

6. Its transportation is easy.


DISADVANTAGES OF MANURE

1. It provides less amount of nutrients to plants as compared to fertilizers.

2. Provides lesser yield in comparison to fertilizers.

3. Can promote weed growth.

4. Spread of E coli can occur.


HOW TO MAKE MANURE

1. Dump dead plants and animals wastes in pits at appropriate places.

2. Let the decomposition process occur by soil microorganisms.

3. After some time, decomposed matter got converted into manure.


SYNTHETIC FERTILIZER


Its mode of action is fast, that is, absorbed immediately by plants after applying. Synthetic fertilizers are available in various forms like liquid, pellet, granules and spike. These can be mixed with water. These are chemically derived fertilizers. Also it has a quick action on plants, that is, provides nutrients and greenery to plants rapidly but color will not last for longer time because chemicals are included in this while organic fertilizers will have long lasting effect. For results to remain intact, chemical fertilizers are needed to be apply again and again after certain interval of time. Synthetic fertilizers stimulate soil life, that is, improve soil structure, enhance soil fertility in a short period of time. If synthetic fertilizers are applied in large quantity to the crops, then it may have destructive effects on our field. These are cost-effective.


BENEFITS OF SYNTHETIC FERTILIZERS


1. Supply appropriate amount of nutrients to soil to enhance its texture and fertility.


2. Its mode of action on soil is immediate, that is, needs no breaking down before absorption.


3. This immediate action of these synthetic fertilizers is more beneficial for plants that are on the verge of dying or are malnourished.


4. These are easy and convenient to use.


5. These are easily available in the market.


6. Delivers nutrients in higher concentration to plants.


7. It increases crop yield.


8. It contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and other elements in appropriate quantity and therefore provides all these essential nutrients to plants.


DISADVANTAGES OF SYNTHETIC FERTILIZERS

1. Synthetic fertilizer have long term negative effects on our crops.


2. Since all soil microorganisms have important role in the growth of our crops since they convert dead human and plant remains into nutrient-rich organic matter and these chemical fertilizer kills these soil microorganisms and therefore are destructive for our field.


3. Synthetic fertilizers after applying into the field, can leach into rivers, streams, ground water and may destruct aquatic life.


4. They increase nitrate levels of soil which affects plants produced from such soil. Consumption of these plants by humans can have bad health hazards on people. Nitrate get converted into toxic nitrites in intestine. These nitrites, after reacting with haemoglobin present in blood forms methaemoglobinaemia which have destructive effects on vascular and respiratory systems. End result can be suffocation or death in severe cases.


5. It damages natural make up of soil.


6. If any person have urinary, kidney or liver problems, allergy or any other health difficulties exposure to these kind of chemicals should be avoided.



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