Chemical nutrition to bio-nutrition
Our NutriCast™ vermicast process uses tones of earthworms in an all organic system to produce premium soil fertility products. Quality Vermicast has been proven by agriculturalists and scientists in multiple field and laboratory studies to be the best long-term, natural soil fertility enhancing product available.
Vermicast (biohumus) – is a natural organic fertilizer. It is a natural means for recultivation of the soil. Vermicast is capable to bring back to life degraded fields and significantly increase fertility of soil. It is widely used for preparation of natural soil mixes. Research has shown that by incorporating Vermicast into crop or plant growth production it can significantly increase yields and has also shown disease suppressive qualities.
Earthworm Organic Mediums operates a large process controlled vermiculture facility in Gauteng South Africa. Marketed under the NutriCast™ brand name, large volumes of premium organic soil fertility products are produced at our state of the art facility under strict quality controlled conditions in Kyalami South Africa.
All feedstock are pre composted to ensure that NutriCast™ is free of weed seeds and that it meet the required standards for possible pathogen destruction.
WHAT IS VERMICAST?
It is well known that earthworms are keystone soil organisms in regulating nutrient cycling in ecosystems through: (i) their own metabolism that leads to high availability of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) from metabolic wastes such as urine, mucus and tissue, (ii) the dispersal and the stimulation of soil microorganism activity associated with passage through the intestinal tract and (iii) the distribution and the mixing of organic matter and soil mineral particles. Certain species of earthworms can consume organic material residuals very rapidly and fragment them into much finer particles by passing them through a grinding gizzard, an organ that all worms possess. The earthworms derive their nourishment from microorganisms that grow upon these materials. At the same time they promote further microbial activity since the fecal material or `casts’ that they produce is much more fragmented and microbially active than what they consume. During this process, the important plant nutrients in the material (particularly the nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and calcium) are released and converted through microbial action into forms that are much more soluble and available to plants than those in the parent compounds.
Vermicast, have high and diverse enzymatic and microbial activities and contents, a fine particulate structure, good moisture-holding capacity and contain nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and calcium in forms readily taken up by plants. Vermicast can have dramatic effects upon the germination, growth, flowering, fruiting and yields of most crops, particularly fruit and vegetables, which are high value crops. Because vermicast are so rich in plant-available nutrients, they tend to perform best in promoting plant growth and yields, at relatively low application rates into plant growth media or soils.
USES AND BENEFITS OF VERMICAST:
Agricultural production: Organic matter plays a key role to achieve sustainability in agricultural production because it possesses many desirable properties such:
1. Has high water holding capacity
2. Cation exchange capacity (CEC)
3. Ability to sequester contaminants (both organic and inorganic)
4. Beneficial effects on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil. Due to the diverse nature of feed stock and composting processes, the quality of available compost materials can vary widely. Successful use of compost relies on evaluating the soil to be amended followed by an evaluation of available compost materials, and then determining the best material and rate to meet the desired objectives.
5. The organic degradable refuse of plant and animal origin provides a good source of nutrients to improve soil productivity.
6. Provide various micro- and macronutrients. Due to the variability and slow release of major nutrients, compost should be considered as a supplement to fertilizer.
7. Addition of vermicompost to soil improves the soil environment, encouraging the proliferation of roots, which in turn draw more water and nutrients from larger areas. It has been shown that these plant responses may be due to the production of plant growth regulators such as as indole acetic acid (IAA), kinetin, or gibberellins associated with humic and fulvic acids also acting as plant growth regulators. These materials are produced through interactions between earthworms and microorganisms. The plant hormones produced become adsorbed on to the humates and fulvates, and are released slowly into soils to promote plant growth over the whole growing season or even several growing seasons.
8. Plant disease can be suppressed by treating plant surfaces with a variety of water-based compost preparations or compost teas. A variety of foliar plant pathogens have been suppressed by application of these compost teas. For some diseases the level of control would be considered inadequate for conventional agricultural practices, but organic produces with limited control options consider partial disease control an improvement.