Objective of the project potential of vermicompost from local Thai earthworms and various organic wastes on agricultural systems and environment was to study the models that suitable for raising and vermicomposting each local Thai earthworms species. Including the characterization of vermicompost fertilizer to apply cultivation of agricultural crops and improve soil fertility, including information that can be used to plan a commercial vermicomposting fertilizer efficiently.
Sub project 1 The aim of this study was to investigate the appropriate models for vermiculture production with different type of Thai local earthworms and international commercial earthworm for a summary of commercial adoption of vermicomposting technologies. The studied had been used 3 different models including; soil pit, compost pile and cement pit with 3 species of earthworms including; Perionyx sp.1, Perionyx sp.2 and Eudrilus eugeniae. The experiment was carried out for 6 months under greenhouse at the Earthworm Research and Development Center, in Maejo University, Thailand. The results can be summarized as follows: Eudrilus eugeniae with soil pit showed the highest number and the weight of earthworms and also showed the highest yield of vermicompost. But in the term of quality of the vermicompost showed that local species of earthworms Thailand Perionyx sp. 1 and Perionyx sp. 2 was grown in cement pit showed the higher quality vermicompost than those from Endrilus enginiae which was grown in soil pit model. However, vermicompost production form all treatments was in the standards of Department of Agriculture.
Sub project 2 The study on CO2 release and determination of total nitrogen by the amount of NH4+ and NO3- in soil sample after added vermicompost, vermicompost liquid in Cauliflower production plot showed the highest volume of NH4+ after 3 weeks in cauliflower production plot added with vermicompost and in 4th weeks in cauliflower production plot after added vermicompost and chemical fertilizers. The volume of NO3- in each treatment founded cauliflower production plot after added vermicompost have volume of NO3- highest in the 1st week and volume of NO3- increase in the 2nd weeks and reduced in 3rd weeks until 5th weeks and until 7 weeks on the cauliflower production plot that added vermicompost with chemical fertilizers showed the highest volume of NO3-. CO2 evolution released with the maximum rate in the 1st weeks after added vermicompost with chemical fertilizers in cauliflower production plot. CO2 evolution reduced after 1st week until 3rd weeks after that CO2 release has the increased until 6 weeks except in cauliflower production plot that added vermicompost with chemical fertilizer showed CO2 evolution increased until 7th weeks. So cauliflower production plot that added vermicompost with chemical fertilizer have affected CO2 evolution and total nitrogen in the forms of NH4+ and NO3- in soil.
Sub project 3 The quality and application of vermicompost for agriculture production was studied at Faculty of Agricultural Production, Maejo University, Chiangmai province.The Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, seven treatments and four plants (Rose, Adenium obesum, Euphorbia milii and Jusmine) was used to determine the effect of fertilizer treatments to plant growing and flowing. The seven treatments consist of 1)control 2)vermicompost 3)vermicompost+8-24-24(N-P2O5-K2O)4)vermicompost+15-15-15(N-P2O5-K2O) 5)vermicompost+wormtea+15-15-15(N-P2O5-K2O)6)compost+8-24-24(N-P2O5-K2O) 7)compost+worm tea+15-15-15 (N-P2O5-K2O) The results of this study showed that the vermicompost was alkaline (pH 8.78) and contained high organic matter content (22.9%), total nitrogen 1.15%, P2O5 2.03%, K2O 2.50%, Ca 3.32%, Mg 0.61%, Fe 0.47%, Zn 108.8 mg kg-1 and B 15.9 mg kg-1. Some plant growth regulator was found in worm tea such as Free IAA, Free GA3 and Free Cytokinins (2.87-3.59 ?gL-1, 0.59-0.81 mgL-1 and 0.09-0.14 mgL-1, representative). The study on influence of vermicompost and worm tea to plant growth and flowering indicated that the combination of vermicompst and/or worm tea with chemical fertilizer significantly increase the number of flowering and size of Rose, Adenium obesum, Euphorbia milii, Jusmine.
Sub project 4 This research was to determine the effect of manure vermicompost compared to the use of organic fertilizers and together with bio-extract from vermicompost on soil physical properties, growth and yield of rice and conducted in the rain-fed farmer paddy field in Roi Et soil (Roi-Et series) at Bua Ban Amphoe Muang, Buriram Province . The experiment was conductedbetweenJune–December2012.
The experimental was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with 4 replications and a plot size of 4 ? 6 meters. There was 6 treatments. The treatment combinations consisted of 1) Chemical fertilizer; 2) cattle manure compost, 3) vermicompost 4) Chemical fertilizer+ EM, 5) cattle manure + EM and 6) vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost
The results of experimental show that treatment 1; chemical fertilizers had highest density maximum (1.38 g cm-3), followed by treatment 5; cattle manure + EM and treatment 6; vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost has a value of 1.34 g cm-3 in both treatments.
The Soil depth of 15-30 cm; All treatments was found that increased in soil bulk density. The treatment 1 was the highest density (1.45 g cm-3) and treatment 5; cattle manure + EM and treatment 6; vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost has a value of 1.41 and 1.40 g cm-3, respectively.
Soil moisture (%); The treatment 1; chemical fertilizers trend to have lowest soil moisture (%), minimum (0.25%). But treatment 5; cattle manure + EM and treatment 6; vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost has a value of 0.28% of soil moisture at a depth of 0-15 cm and 0.33% and 0.36% respectively at a depth of 15-30 cm.
Saturated hydraulic conductivity: Ksat; The treatment 1; chemical fertilizers trend to have lower saturated hydraulic conductivity (2.10 cm hr-1) than other treatments. And treatment 5; cattle manure + EM and treatment 6; vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost were the highest value of saturated hydraulic conductivity: Ksat with 2.37 and 2.77 cm hr-1 respectively at a depth of 0-15 cm , and 1.48 and 154 cm hr-1 respectively at a depth of 15-30 cm.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and organic matter in the soil, the results show that treatment 1: chemical fertilizers trend to have a lowest in Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and organic matter in the soil . In contrast the treatment 5,cattle manure + EM and treatment 6 vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost had a higher than all treatments at all soil depth.
The results show that the treatment 1; Chemical fertilizer hat better plant height of 75.5 cm,followed by treatment 5,cattle manure + EM and treatment 6 vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost but there was no significant between treatment . However treatment 4; Chemical fertilizer + EM and treatment 6; vermicompost + Bioextract from vermicompost trended to have a better dry weight and number of tillers per hill. Which the dry weight of 3950 and 3893 kg per hectare, respectively, and increased the number of tillers per hill at 277 and 276 tillers per hill, respectively.
The studies suggested that the Vermicompost from earthworm can increase grain yield was close to most chemical fertilizer and can also increase the fertility to the soil and the suitable for growing crops than chemical fertilizer as well.
Sub project 5 study marketing situation for development organic vegetable agriculture business by marketing mix theory and to analyze the economic worthiness by application of Net Present Value (NPV), Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR), Payback period (PB) and Break-even point. Questionnaire was used to interviews 60 farmers, who produced and sold organic vegetables in Chiang Mai from Center of Maejo Earthworms Research Development. Findings showed that organic vegetable agriculture business to earthworms’ compost fertilizer application have worthiness. It meant that farmers, who produced and sold organic vegetables, had higher income than investment costs, especially fruits and leaves plants. Furthermore, sale of organic vegetables were fresh flowers which they did not process to other forms. The price depended on middlemen, who were in local market. The organic vegetables were distributed at the
J. J. market, Chiang Mai. Finally, promotion of these vegetables are less because the production is safe for producers and consumers. This production is motivation to develop for organic vegetables business. However, the earthworms’ compost application bring about cost reduction for improvement on production and provide safe and quality products for consumers.