Vermiculture Technology: Earthworms, Organic Wastes, and Environmental Management

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ISBN 9781439809877
Cat# K10494



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ISBN 9781439809884
Cat# KE10466



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  • Defines the relationship between composting and vermiculture, highlighting their roles, and their differences and similarities
  • Discusses the many environmental benefits of vermiculture-based crop production
  • Covers low-, medium-, and high-technology earthworm composting systems
  • Examines the effects of vermicomposts on pest and disease control
  • Provides a basis for further scientific research into vermiculture technology and defines its long-term international potential
  • Includes case studies from regions such as Indonesia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Cuba, India, and the Philippines


Co-edited by international earthworm expert Clive A. Edwards, Vermiculture Technology: Earthworms, Organic Wastes, and Environmental Management is the first international, comprehensive, and definitive work on how earthworms and microorganisms interact to break down organic wastes on a commercial basis. Many books cover the importance of composting for reducing the amount of organic wastes in landfills. This reference focuses on innovative vermiculture technology that turns organic waste into a value-added environmentally friendly products that can improve soil fertility and productivity on a large scale.

Chronicles more than two decades of growth and changes in earthworm composting technology

Based on the work of an outstanding international cast of scientists, the book explores the dramatic growth and changes in vermiculture technology since 1988 and assesses advances made in government-funded projects in the United States and United Kingdom. The contributors discuss outdoor and indoor windrows, container systems, wedge systems, and low labor-requirement, fully-automated continuous flow vermicomposting reactor systems that can process more than 1000 tons of organic wastes per reactor per annum. They also highlight the science and biology behind the use and efficacy of vermicomposting, examine its importance to developing countries, and detail the technology of the past, present, and future.

Although the development of a range of vermicomposting technologies has been rapid and the spread of vermicomposting dramatic, the scientific literature remains scattered throughout a range of journals, newsletters, and online resources. As a compilation of information designed specifically to have an extended shelf life, this volume chronicles how vermiculture can be brought into full commercial and industrial development and find application in integrated waste management systems.

Table of Contents

Introduction, History, and Potential of Vermicomposting Technology, C.A. Edwards
Relationships between Composting and Vermicomposting: Relative Values of the Products, J. Domínguez and C.A. Edwards
Biology and Ecology of Earthworm Species used for Vermicomposting, J. Dominguez and C.A. Edwards
Discovery and Development of New Species for Vermiculture, S. James and A. Guimarães
The Microbiology of Vermicomposting, J. Domínguez
Small-Scale School and Domestic Vermicomposting Systems, R.L. Sherman and M. Appelhof
Low-Technology Vermicomposting Systems, C.A. Edwards
Medium- and High-Technology Vermicomposting Systems, C.A. Edwards
The Potential of Vermicomposts as Plant Growth Media for Greenhouse Crop Production, N.Q. Arancon, C.A. Edwards, K. Webster, and J. Buckerfield
The Use of Vermicomposts as Soil Amendments for Production of Field Crops, N.Q. Arancon and C.A. Edwards
The Production of Vermicompost Aqueous Solutions or “Teas", C. Salter and C.A. Edwards
The Suppression of Plant Pathogens by Vermicomposts, A.L.H. Jack
Use of Aqueous Extracts from Vermicompost (“Teas”) in Suppression of Plant Pathogens, C.A. Edwards, A.M. Askar, M.A. Vasko-Bennett, and N.Q. Arancon
Suppression of Arthropod Pests and Plant Parasitic Nematodes by Vermicomposts and Aqueous Extracts from Vermicompost (“Teas"), C.A. Edwards, A.M. Askar, M. A. Vasko-Bennett, and N.Q. Arancon
The Use and Effects of Aqueous Extracts from Vermicomposts (“Teas”) on Plant Growth and Yields, C.A. Edwards, A.M. Askar, M.A. Vasko-Bennett, and N.Q. Arancon
Human Pathogen Reduction during Vermicomposting, C.A. Edwards and S. Subler
Heavy Metals, Earthworms, and Vermicomposts, A.J. Morgan
Quality Criteria for Vermicomposts, C.A. Edwards, S. Subler, and N.Q. Arancon
The Commercial Potential and Economics of Vermicomposting, J. Jensen, B. Christie, and C.A. Edwards
The Production of Earthworm Protein for Animal Feed from Organic Wastes, C.A. Edwards and A. Niederer
The Use of Vermiculture for Land Improvement, K.R. Butt
The Potential of Earthworms Produced from Organic Wastes in Production of Pharmaceuticals, M. Balamurugan, K. Parthasarathi, L. S. Ranganathan, and E.L. Cooper
The Status of Vermicomposting in North America: A Rapidly Developing Technology, R.L. Sherman and P. Bogdanov
Vermicomposting in Businesses and Institutions, R.L. Sherman
New Developments and Insights on Vermicomposting in Spain, J. Domínguez and M. Aira
Vermiculture and Vermicomposting in the United Kingdom, K.R. Butt and B. Williams
Vermiculture in Australia and New Zealand: From Earthworm Production to Commercial Vermicomposting, K.A. Webster and J.C. Buckerfield
Origins and Spread of Vermicomposting in India: Focus on Sustainable Agriculture, R. Kale
Vermiculture in the Philippines, R.D. Guerrero, III
The Status of Vermicomposting in Indonesia, B. Gunadi
Vermicomposting Projects in Hong Kong, D.J. Ellery and T.C. Kai
Vermicomposting Research and Activities in Mexico, E. Aranda-Delgado, I. Barois, M. de los Santos B., and B. Hernández-Castellanos
The Scope of Vermiculture in Cuba, M.M. Reinés Álvarez and C. Rodríguez Aragonés
Commercial Applications of Vermiculture in China, S. Zhenjun
Progress in Vermicomposting in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, M. Svetlana

Author Bio(s)