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Use Worm Compost to fight plant disease

Updated on May 4, 2012

Are you a gardener or farmer that has been on the constant lookout for the greenest plant disease-fighting agent? There is such a product, and it’s called worm compost (also known by its other names of worm poop, humus, or manure). Vermicompost is a naturally produced, nutrient-packed resource that earthworms and other live microorganisms have been cooperatively creating throughout time.

Research prove worm compost helps battle crop disease

Organic breakthroughs have always been significant. And such solutions have been finding ways to improve both soil and plant elements with products that posts less harmful effects on nature. Researcher’s like Allison Jack, a Cornell University doctoral student, has discovered that worm compost contained beneficial microorganisms that release a substance that acts as a means of protection for the plant. This substance helps restrict the ‘chemical signaling between the host and the pathogen‘.

Which live microbes help suppress plant diseases?

There are a variety of live microbes packed in red worms compost. But the question is, which ones are more effective when it comes to protecting seedlings from viruses? The answer is still uncertain. But many individuals are already working on achieving the best remedies yet. Much like Eric Carr’s study on worm castings (a master’s student from Nelson’s lab). He has been looking into the properties of the compost obtained from worms, specifically the ones that help suppress the Pythium aphanidermatum life cycle. The Pythium aphanidermatum is a type of pathogen that affects plant sprouts, which then causes the plantlets to shrivel (typically reacts after propagation).

Consistency is the key

Consistency can help produce great results. Putting this into perspective, Allison Jack has collaborated with a company that produces casts from composting worms, which happens to go through a very controlled process. Jack has been working alongside Worm Power (Tom Herlihy’s company is able to generate 2.5 millions pounds of earthworm castings annually) to help determine if the compost will work effectively in suppressing Pythium. If the experiment proves its success, then both teams will be able to create an organic pesticide that will surely treat certain plant disease.

How worm compost aids in resisting plant disease

Worm compost is a valuable organic resource. And applying the right variation will certainly aid in resisting a number of crop disease. But how does it work? Work castings work by releasing antibiotics that have been produced by some live microbes (certain fungi and bacteria). These are then released into the soil, which then helps enables the plants to fight off a variety of disorders.


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