The earthworm humus is an important organic fertilizer composed of excreta from this annelid.The worm is an annelid that lives underground, has no ears or eyes, but has cells that are very sensitive to light, always living in places that are not very shaded. It has cutaneous breathing and, because of this characteristic, it lives in humid places, but not soaked. These animals are often despised and even considered disgusting by many people. However, the earthworm has great economic importance, especially with regard to agriculture, where it is responsible for the production of humus.
Humus can be defined as any and all organic material that is degraded in the soil. The earthworm humus, in turn, consists of the products of the excretion of this animal, being rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium. In addition, in the humus we find some plant hormones and microorganisms that help, respectively, in the development of plants and in the diversity of microorganisms in the soil. Therefore, we can conclude that this is an important organic fertilizer.
The production of humus for commercial use can be done by means of earthworms or vermicomposting, a technique that uses earthworms to transform the organic matter, such as vegetable remains and manure, into humus. This process can therefore be considered as a form of recycling.
The most used worm to produce humus is California Red ( Eisenia foetida ), which is capable of transforming 60% of the organic matter it consumes into humus, the rest being used for its development. This species of worm is the most recommended because it feeds quickly and ingests large amounts of food. In addition, reproduction is easy and development is fast.
Applying earthworm humus to the soil has a number of physical, chemical and biological benefits . The use of this product acts directly on soil conservation, helping with water retention and also in the aeration process, in addition to promoting better plant development and increasing the amount of microorganisms.
In addition to helping in agriculture, the production of humus helps to increase the income of several small rural producers , since it is a simple, inexpensive technique that requires little manpower. However, for the success of an earthworm, it is essential to invest in the proper feeding of earthworms and a detailed analysis of the environment where the structure will be assembled, being essential to observe the temperature and humidity.
Attention: If you want to build a worm farm on your property and do not know where to start, contact Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) in your region.