n African Zoology - Effect of earthworm casting on growth parameters of rice

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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The effect of worm casts associated with rice plants on the growth parameters of rice was investigated. Three experiments were carried out on (a) potted rice plants, (b) rice in an upland environment and (c) rice in a lowland environment, all on the Temporary Farm of the Rice Development Programme of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria. The results indicated that the association of worm casts with the bases of rice stands significantly improved height at tillering, mass of seeds and root volume at harvest in the upland-grown rice. In the lowland-grown rice, earthworm casting significantly improved all growth parameters. In the experiment with potted plants , only leaf area, number and mass of seeds per stand responded positively to the level of cast treatment. For the other growth parameters different levels of cast treatment did not make a significant difference. These results indicate that earthworm activities contribute significantly to the physiological well-being of rice under flooded (lowland) conditions. This may be related to their aeration of the soil and to growth factors that they produce. It is recommended that rice farmers should adopt farming operations that conserve earthworm populations in their plantations.

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