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Effect of Different Bedding Materials and Waste Feeds on Vermicompost Production and Local Earthworm Performance in Wondo Genet Ethiopia

The experiment was conducted during 2013 and 2014 cropping seasons to evaluate the effect of different bedding materials and waste feeds on vermicompost production and local earthworm performance at Wondo Genet, Ethiopia. This activity was conducted in special constructed bins or divided cement-constructed pool (up to 35 cm long × 60 cm width × 45 cm depth) for each earthworm type under shade condition. Treatment arrangements were three earthworm species by four feeding materials, with the total number of 12 bins. Cow dung + Soil + Stevia leaves and Stevia leaves + Maize stalk + Fresh food scraps + Khat /Chat/ wastes were used as source of bedding and feed materials for vermicompost production respectively. The earthworm population and size increased during incubation for 90 days. The Meskan local worms increased from 70 to 6233, Zway local worms to 6198 and Ambo exotic worms increased to 6041when grown individually using maize stalks, chat and stevia leaves, and fresh food scraps. Meskan local and Zway local worms performed better than exotic Ambo worms. Maize stalk, chat and stevia leaves, and fresh food scraps were best to least feed materials for earthworm multiplication. The stinger number of worms (2067) was obtained by feeding worms on maize stalk, whereas the lowest worm number (713) was obtained on fresh food scraps. The highest cast was also produced (13.3) from worms fed with maize stalk, while the lowest cast was produced (9.3) from worms fed with fresh food scraps. Therefore, maize stalk, chat wastes, stevia leaves and fresh food scraps were also best to least feeding ZXmaterials for cast production. The nutrient contents of vermicomposts prepared from different crop residues and waste materials were indicated that higher N content was found in Ambo + stevia leaves followed by Zeway + stevia leaves, while P, K and Na contents were higher in Meskan + fresh food scraps, followed by Zway + fresh food scraps. The highest CEC, Mg, Mn and Ca contents were recorded from chat leaf vermicompost, followed by maize stalk waste vermicompost.

Author(s): Kedir Jemal, Asegedch Abebe

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