Fertilizer is an essential key input for the production of crops. Fertilizer contributes towards 55% of additional food production. Customized fertilizer is a mixed fertilizer formulated according to plant specifications furnished by the consumer before mixing. Some land needs much higher quantities of balanced fertilizer mixtures in granulated or solid form, for soil application; water soluble or liquid form for drip irrigation, mini sprinkler and foliar spray systems. Customized fertilizer may also be defined as multi-nutrient carrier which contains macro and/or micronutrients, its sources are from inorganic (chemical) or organic material (natural).
Worm castings or vermicompost originally can be found in nature. In commercial way, it is a plant additive or biostimulant that can not be categorized as fertilizer in the market because its nutrients content fluctuate depending on the organic waste used as a feedstock. As the nutrients content of vermicompost is much higher than in the regular commercial compost, the high quality of vermicompost can contribute for the input of nutrients to increase the production of crops.
Vermicompost is different from regular thermophilic compost from high temperature conventional composting, mainly because vermicompost is richer in nutrients and beneficial soil microbial activity. Most of the nutrients and microbial activity are destroyed by the high temperature up to around 70 degrees Celsius during conventional composting. On the other hand, vermicomposting is a process of making worm castings or vermicompost from the organic waste through the gut of composting worms or red wigglers at a room temperature (mesophilic composting) which is conserving the nutrients and contains more beneficial soil microbial activity.
The classical example of the nutrients content in percentages dry matter from the different sources of vermicompost compared to the commercial compost mostly from thermophilic composting can be seen at the table above. The macronutrients such as Nitrogen and Potassium contents in the vermicompost from tea leaf wastes can be 5 times higher than in the commercial compost. Phosphorus content in the vermicompost from dairy waste sludge cake can be 40 times higher than in the commercial compost. Concerning the micronutrients such as Calcium and Magnesium in average are much higher in vermicompost than in commercial compost.
What does it mean with this fact? Worm castings or vermicompost can contribute to increase the production of leaf, flower, fruit, seed, root and tuber crops through the relatively high nutrients supply as organic fertilizer, although usually they are categorized as biostimulant rather than fertilizer. The advantages of the vermicompost as biostimulant with high quality and quantity of the beneficial soil microorganisms, plant growth regulators such as plant hormones, fulvic and humic acids significantly increase the germination of the plants in the nursery and for the protection against the plant diseases.
It will be a great innovation and a significant cost-saver if you can make your own customized organic fertilizer as vermicompost from your own resource-organic waste management using red wigglers for intensive vermiculture-vermicomposting to support the natural way of farming. Please visit our website at http://www.burnabyredwigglers.com to find the opportunity in increasing the production of your crops through resource-organic waste management available in your location.
– Bintoro Gunadi