Mark Anthony M. Barbadillo1, Renante G. Macapanas2 and Romel B. Armecin2,3*
The increasing demand for healthy and sustainable food production practices has encouraged farmers to switch to the use of organic fertilizers. Information on the nutrient composition of the available organic products is minimal. Hence, this study was conducted to survey and collect samples of vermicast fertilizer materials in Western Visayas and do reformulation work to improve the nutrient composition and perform efficacy trials for corn seedling at the early stage of growth. Among the collected samples, soil pH values ranged from 4.7-7.0, OM from 25.40-45.40%, and total N, P, K, Na, Ca and Mg contents ranged from 0.70-1.40%, 0.04-0.90%, 0.30-1.00%, 0.03-0.17%, 1.30-2.60%, and 0.50-0.80%, respectively. Reformulated vermicasts contained high total N content (1.23-1.37%) but had lower total P, K, Na, Ca and Mg contents than most vermicasts from Western Visayas. The plant height, leaf area and dry matter yield of the corn seedlings using the reformulated vermicast was significantly higher than those seedlings treated with inorganic fertilizer.
Keywords: organic fertilizer, corn, dry matter yield, reformulation, vermicast