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    Earthworm obtained liquid offers more nutrients than inorganic fertilizer

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    Farm­ers ap­ply­ing ver­mi­cul­ture li­quid in crop pro­duc­tion sup­ply com­pre­hens­ive min­er­als than those re­ly­ing on syn­thetic fer­til­isers.

    Real IPM Small­holder En­ter­prise Cen­ter Man­ager Isaac Guda said ver­mil­i­quid sup­plies crops with both micro and macro nu­tri­ents, which are ne­ces­sary for hol­istic growth.

    Whilst com­mon fer­til­isers are spe­cific in nu­tri­ent sup­ply- NPK, DAP, CAN- ver­mil­i­quid has more than 15 micro and macro-ele­ments, mak­ing it a ‘single dose’ ap­plic­a­tion.

    For one to meet all the min­eral ele­ments, more fer­til­iser from the com­pound groups has to be ap­plied.

    “The main be­ne­fit of ver­mil­i­quid over con­ven­tional fer­til­isers is that it con­tains al­most all the nu­tri­ents re­quired at one go to ad­dress spe­cific crop needs,” Guda said.

    Ni­tro­gen, phos­phorus and po­tassium are the main or macro ele­ments re­quired in crops’ growth.

    A de­tailed Crop Nu­tri­tion Lab ana­lysis of the red wrig­gler worms’ ver­mil­i­quid showed the fol­low­ing min­er­als in part per mil­lion in con­cen­tra­tions.

    Po­tassium parts were 2020, phos­phorus 26.3, cal­cium 111, mag­nesium, 52.8, sul­phur 33.2, man­ganese 1.37 iron 7.54.

    Zinc was 0.40, boron 0.56, cop­per 0.30, so­dium 60.7, am­monium 11.8, chlor­ides 692, mo­lyb­denum 0.039, among oth­ers.

    The PH of the li­quid was 8.55.

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    However, to have such a rich min­eral re­source, a mix of sub­strates from vari­ous fam­il­ies of crops has to be in­cluded. For in­stance legume, which are known to con­tain ni­tro­gen and pump­kins and quash for zinc and phos­phorus are in­cluded.

    Ver­mil­i­quid is col­lec­ted and ap­plied as a folia fer­til­iser that is read­ily ab­sorbed into the plant sys­tem via the leaves.

    “You need five kilos of worms act­ing on half a kilo of the food sub­strate. For in­stance, half a kilo of cof­fee husks  added every two weeks pro­duce one litre of the ver­mil­i­quid per month,” he said.

    Ap­plic­a­tion rate is 10ml per litre of water, al­though there is no harm in ex­ceed­ing the rate.

    Just like other folia fer­til­isers, the ex­cess ap­plic­a­tion does not have scorch­ing ef­fect on the crops as the syn­thetic types.

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