Influence of vermicompost on the physico-chemical and biological properties in different types of soil along with yield and quality of the pulse crop–blackgram
Long-term application of inorganic fertilizers like high doses of ammonium sulfate and sulfur coated urea has led to soil acidification (Ma et al., 1990), decrease in soil aggregate stability (Estevez et al., 1996) decrease in soil respiration (Sharma 2003), pollution of underground water and decrease in earthworm populations (Edwards and Bohlen 1996). Vermicompost has been shown to have high levels of total and available nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium (NPK) and micro nutrients, microbial and enzyme activities and growth regulators (Parthasarathi and Ranganathan 1999; Chaoui et al., 2003) and continuous and adequate use with proper management can increase soil organic carbon, soil water retention and transmission and improvement in other physical properties of soil like bulk density, penetration resistance and aggregation (Zebarth et al., 1999) as well as beneficial effect on the growth of a variety of plants (Atiyeh et al., 2002). Most of these studies are restricted to specific soil type and/or to temperate plants and to greenhouse experiments. Effects of application of vermicompost on different types of soils and the nutritional analysis of plants, particularly in field crops like pulses raised on different tropical soils have not been studied so far. The objectives of the present investigation, therefore, were to monitor the effects of application of vermicompost, produced from the sugar mill wastes (pressmud, trash and bagasse) on a range of physical, chemical and biological properties of clay loam, sandy loam and red loam soil and the yield and nutritional quality of blackgram-Vigna mungo.