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  • Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Volume 28, Issue 3
  • September 2013, pp. 212-219

Contribution and assessment of recycled menthol mint vermicompost on productivity and soil quality in mint and mint–rice–wheat rotation: A case study


Trials in farmers' field(s) were conducted to study the usefulness of vermicompost (VC) produced from distillation waste of menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L. cv. Kushal) using earthworms (Eisenia foetida) in reducing the inputs of chemical fertilizers and improving soil health in menthol mint-based cropping systems. Results of the first trial conducted on menthol mint (sole crop) in the fields of 45 farmers clearly indicated that 75% of the chemical fertilizer inputs can be reduced by supplementing the fields with 5tha−1 of menthol mint VC leading to higher levels of profits to the farmers by significantly improving herb and oil yield (6.7 and 8.4%, respectively) compared to the full recommended dose of chemical fertilizers (NPK 75:60:60kgha−1). The second trial was conducted in the fields of six farmers adopting a menthol mint cropping system (mint–rice–wheat–mint) where significantly higher yields were recorded in plots supplemented with 5tha−1 of menthol mint VC+25% of the recommended dose of chemical fertilizers; an increase of 5.6–7.2% in mint oil and 6.6% in wheat yield over the plots receiving the full recommended dose of chemical fertilizers (NPK 75:60:60kgha−1). However, in the case of rice, the highest grain yield was observed within plots receiving the full recommended dose of chemical fertilizers. Data obtained on soil properties clearly showed that apart from enhancing the yields of crops, the integration of VC with chemical fertilizers considerably improved the soil fertility/sustainability status in terms of organic carbon, available N, P and K.

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1D.D. Patra , M. Anwar , and S. Chand 2000. Integrated nutrient management and waste recycling for restoring soil fertility and productivity in Japanese mint (Mentha arvensis) and mustard (Brassica juncea) sequence in Uttar Pradesh India. Agriculture Ecosystem and Environment 80:267276.

5M. Anwar , D.D. Patra , S. Chand , A. Kumar , A.A. Naqvi , and S.P.S. Khanuja 2005. Effect of organic and inorganic fertilizer on growth, herb, oil yield, nutrient accumulation and oil quality of French basil (Ocimum basilicum L.). Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 36(13–14):17371746.

7A. Kalra , M. Chandra , A. Awasthi , A.K. Singh , and S.P.S. Khanuja 2010. Natural compound enhancing growth and survival of rhizobial inoculants in vermicompost based formulation. Biology and Fertility of Soil 46:521524.

20R.M. Atiyeh , S. Lee , C.A. Edwards , N.Q. Arancon , and J.D. Metzger 2002. The influence of humic acid derived from earthworm-processed organic wastes on plant growth. Bioresource Technology 84:714.

21F.R. Magdoff and R.J. Barlett 1985. Soil pH buffering revisted. Soil Science Society of America 49:145148.

24S. Chand , M. Anwar , D.D. Patra , and S.P.S. Khanuja 2004. Effect of mint distillation waste on soil microbial biomass in mint–mustard cropping sequence. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 35:243254.

25S. Chand , M. Anwar , and D.D. Patra 2006. Influence of long term application of organic manure and inorganic fertilizers to build up soil fertility and nutrient uptake in mint-mustard cropping sequence. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 37:6376.

26A.G. O'Donnell , M. Seasman , A. Macrae , I. Waite , A. Waite , and J.T. Davies 2001. Plants and fertilizers as drivers of change in microbial community structure and function in soils. Plant Soil 232:135145.

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