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Disease suppression with Wormcast ~ Pro and Wormcast ~ Pro Tea

Latest research findings from Professor Clive Edwards, Ohio State University.

Research programme. Ohio State University

  • Professor Clive Edwards Soil Ecology OSU
  • He is the leading world expert on earthworms and vermicomposting
  • Moved to USA from senior research post at Rothamsted Research Station, Harpenden
  • Acts as consultant for ORM Professional Products
  • Prof Edwards chaired the USDA Compost Tea Report Task Force

Research OSU underpins our products

  • Research scientists use the generic name vermicompost for earthworm processed organic matter
  • and vermicompost tea a liquid extraction of vermicompost
  • ORM Professional Products have developed a range of products for professional growers
    • Wormcast ~ Pro solid growing media addition
    • Wormcast Pro ~ Tea liquid biostimulant

The Vermicomposting process

  • Vermicomposting uses particular species of earthworms to process organic wastes into material possessing excellent chemical, physical and biological characteristics for improving plant growth and health.
  • During the vermicomposting process, organic matter is fully oxidised and stabilised and the nutrients are converted into readily plant available forms.
  • Vermicomposts have a fine structure, high moisture-holding capacity, greatly increased microbial activity and contain growth regulators produced by micro organisms and the interaction with humic substances.

Research programme.Ohio State University

  • More than ten years of research into the effects of vermicomposts on plants
  • Growing evidence for the mechanisms to explain the fantastic results observed
  • Not just disease suppression but suppressive effects on insect pests and deleterious nematodes too
  • The latest work is concentrating on vermicompost teas
Disease Suppression Disease Suppression

Wormcast ~ Pro Tea

  • ready-to-use concentrated liquid
  • no need to brew
  • no extra equipment needed
  • months of shelf life
  • much greater microbial activity
  • greater diversity and different spectrum of species
  • + growth regulator effects

Biological activity compared with compost

  • Much higher numbers of beneficial micro organisms
  • Greater diversity and a different spectrum of species
Disease Suppression Disease Suppression

Wormcast ~ Pro: much higher. microbial activity than compost

Disease Suppression

Wormcast ~ Pro Disease suppression

Proof of the microbial power of vermicomposts to suppress plant diseases can be demonstrated by the loss of suppressiveness when vermicompost is sterilised destroying any biological effects.

Disease Suppression

Wormcast ~ Pro: Disease suppression

From research and trials around the world evidence is piling up of the range of soil borne diseases which are significantly suppressed by vermicomposts added to growing media or soil and now there is growing evidence of the disease suppressive effects of vermicompost tea.

Plant diseases suppressed by vermicompost/vermicompost tea

Soil borne diseases

  • Pythium
  • Rhizoctonia
  • Fusarium
  • Schlerotinia
  • Club root Plasmodiophora brassicae
  • Verticillium wilt
  • Phytophthora
  • Phomopsis

Foliar diseases

  • Botrytis
  • Powdery mildew
  • Plectosporium blight
  • Septoria lycopersici - tomato leaf spot
  • Alternaria solani - early blight

Compost inoculated with Rhizoctonia: addition of vermicompost suppresses disease significantly

Disease Suppression

10% vermicompost suppresses Plectosporium

Disease Suppression

Vermicompost in field trials . significantly suppressed Verticillium

Disease Suppression

Suppression of grape vine diseases in the field

Disease Suppression

Vermicompost in field trials . significantly suppressed Verticillium

Disease Suppression

Suppression of grape vine diseases in the field

Disease Suppression

OSU Conclusions 1

  • It is well established that thermophyllic composts can suppress the incidence of a number of plant diseases
  • Probable mechanism: competition with or antagonism to non-pathogenic micro organisms, either specific or general
  • Clearly the use of vermicomposts suppressed Pythium and Rhizoctonia in the laboratory and Verticillium, Phomopsis and Powdery mildew in the field significantly

OSU Conclusions 2

  • Earthworms promote microbial activity and diversity in organic wastes greatly
  • Microbial activity is much greater in vermicomposts than that in thermophyllic composts (by up to 4 orders of magnitude, i.e. 10,000 times)
  • Hence there is an even greater potential for suppression of plant diseases by vermicomposts by encouraging competing and antagonistic micro organisms.

OSU have begun research on vermicompost teas in 2006

  • Preliminary studies have shown promising results
  • Many of the beneficial components of vermicomposts are extracted in the process of making vermicompost tea, i.e. huge numbers of beneficial micro organisms and PGRs
  • Latest results of greenhouse trials are expected from Professor Clive Edwards very soon
  • The effects of soil applied and foliar sprays are being assessed

Vermicompost tea: more suppressive than compost tea

Disease Suppression

Vermicompost tea (soil applied) significantly suppressed Plectosporium

Disease Suppression

Vermicompost tea (soil applied) significantly suppressed Verticillium

Disease Suppression
Disease Suppression