Volume No. 10 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 700-705 April-June 2016




Grewal A.*, Hundal S. S.1 and Sharma S.2

1. Department of Zoology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (INDIA)
2. Department of Soil Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (INDIA)


Received on : January 10, 2016




Generation of organic agro-wastes has increased at an unprecedented rate around the globe, because of increased food grain production to feed the population, leading to disposal problems. Vermicomposting is one of the most important ecofriendly tools in the campaign to recycle agriculture wastes. The present study deals with the bioconversion of three such agricultural crop residues : rice husk, paddy straw and spent mushroom paddy straw by the earthworm, Eisenia fetida. The Paddy Straw (PS), Spent Mushroom Paddy Straw (SMPS) and Rice Husk (RH) were mixed with farm yard manure in the ratio 1:1 using FYM as control. Rice husk in combination with FYM with the ratio 1:1 revealed lower survival rate of earthworms and poor conversion. The results revealed that the maximum weight gain of 49% and the shortest life cycle of 51 days were observed in PS: FYM. The longest life cycle of 62.66 days was recorded in RH: FYM (1:1), while the maximum mean number of cocoons per worm and per day was observed in SMPS: FYM (0.62 and 2.83 respectively). The shortest duration for the conversion of substrate into vermicompost of 75 days was observed in SMPS : FYM indicating substrate preference favouring SMPS. The nutrient analysis of the vermicompost from the substrates showed a general trend of increase in the levels of total nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (%) and decrease in the levels of pH and total organic carbon content (%). It was inferred that among the three substrates studied, vermicompost from spent mushroom paddy straw substrate was best for its nutrient value, earlier convertibility and preferred substrate for Eisenia fetida as compared to paddy straw (PS : FYM) and rice husk (RH : FYM). Vermicomposting therefore has a potential to be explored by marginal farmers of developing countries as a support to farming practices.


Keywords : Bio-management, Eisenia fetida, Paddy straw, Rice husk, Spent mushroom paddy straw, Vermicomposting