Effect of Vermicompost Extract and Vermicompost-Derived Humic Acids on Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of Hemp

Open access


Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) cultivars grown for industrial use have recently emerged as a sustainable alternative source of industrial fibre and bioenergy, and is a highly valuable food and animal feed resource. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of vermicompost extract, vermicompost mineral nutrient composition, and vermicompost-derived humic and fulvic acids on seed germination and growth of hemp seedlings. In general, separate application of all vermicompost components stimulated seed germination and hypocotyl and radicle growth, as well as increased chlorophyll concentration in cotyledons. Effective concentration range and the degree of stimulation varied significantly between the treatments. For practical purposes, application of vermicompost and vermicompost-derived extracts for stimulation of hemp growth could be useful at concentrations 5%, 0.05 mg·mL−1 and 1%, for vermicompost extract, humic acids and fulvic acids, respectively.

Adamovics, A., Ivanovs, S., Stramkale, V. (2016). Investigations about the impact of norms of the fertilisers and cultivars upon the crop capacity biomass of industrial hemp. Agron. Res., 14 (3), 641–649.

Berger, J. (1969). The World's Major Fibre Crops: their Cultivation and Manuring. Centre d'Etude de l'Azote, Zurich. 294 pp.

Callaway, J. J. (2004). Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica, 140 (1), 65–72.

Campitelli, P., Ceppi, S. (2008). Effects of composting technologies on the chemical and physicochemical properties of humic acids. Geoderma, 144 (1–2), 325–333.

Cardoza, Y. J., Buhler, W. G. (2012). Soil organic amendment impacts on corn resistance to Helicoverpa zea: Constitutive or induced? Pedobiologia, 55 (6), 343–347.

Chen, Y., Clapp, C. E., Magen, H. (2004). Mechanisms of plant growth stimulation by humic substances: The role of organo-iron complexes. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr., 50 (7), 1089–1095.

David, P. P., Nelson, P. V., Sanders, D. C. (1994). A humic acid improves growth of tomato seedling in solution culture. J. Plant Nutr., 17 (1), 173–184.

Domínguez, J. (2004). State-of-the-art and new perspectives on vermicomposting research. In: Edwards, C. A. (Ed.). Earthworm Ecology, 2nd ed. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 401–424.

Edwards, C. A., Arancon, N. Q., Vasko-Bennett, M., Askar, A., Keeney, G. (2011). Effect of aqueous extracts from vermicomposts on attacks by cucumber beetles (Acalymna vittatum) (Fabr.) on cucumbers and tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) (L.) on tomatoes. Pedobiologia, 53 (2), 141–148.

Eyheraguibel, B., Silvestre, J., Morard, P. (2008). Effects of humic substances derived from organic waste enhancement on the growth and mineral nutrition of maize. Bioresour. Technol., 99 (10), 4206–4212.

Ersahin, Y. S., Haktanir, K., Yanar, Y. (2009). Vermicompost suppresses Rhizoctonia solani Kühn in cucumber seedlings. J. Plant Dis. Protect., 116 (4), 182–188.

Ferreras, L., Gomez, E., Toresani, S., Firpo, I., Rotondo, R. (2006). Effect of organic amendments on some physical, chemical and biological properties in a horticultural soil. Bioresour. Technol., 97 (4), 635–640.

Finnan, J., Styles, D. (2013). Hemp: a more sustainable annual energy crop for climate and energy policy. Energy Policy, 58, 152–162.

Grantina-Ievina, L., Andersone, U., Berkolde-Pīre, D., Nikolajeva, V., Ievinsh, G. (2013). Critical tests for determination of microbiological quality and biological activity in commercial vermicompost samples of different origin. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 97 (24), 10541–10554.

Grantina-Ievina, L., Nikolajeva, V., Rostoks, N., Skrabule, I., Zarina, L., Pogulis, A., Ievinsh, G. (2015). Impact of green manure and vermicompost on soil suppressiveness, soil microbial populations and plant growth in conditions of organic agriculture of Northern temperate climate. In: Meghvansi M. K., Varma A. (eds.). Organic Amendments and Soil Suppressiveness in Plant Disease Management. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, pp. 381–399.

Hartz, T. K., Bottoms, T. G. (2010). Humic substances generally ineffective in improving vegetable crop nutrient uptake or productivity. HortScience, 45 (6), 906–910.

Ievinsh, G. (2011). Vermicompost treatment differentially affects seed germination, seedling growth and physiological status of vegetable crop species. Plant Growth Regul., 65 (1), 169–181.

Karlsons, A., Osvalde, A., Andersone-Ozola, U., Ievinsh, G. (2016). Vermicompost from municipal sewage sludge affects growth and mineral nutrition of winter rye (Secale cereale) plants. J. Plant Nutr., 39 (6), 765–780.

Karlsons, A., Osvalde, A., Necajeva, J., Ievinsh, G. (2008). Changes of nutritional status of coastal plants Hydrocotyle vulgaris and Aster tripolium at elevated soil salinity. Acta Universitatis Latviensis, 745, 165–177.

Lazcano, C., Gómez-Brandón, M., Domínguez, J. (2008). Comparison of the effectiveness of composting and vermicomposting for the biological stabilization of cattle manure. Chemosphere, 72 (7), 1013–1019.

Maļceva, M., Vikmane, M., Stramkale, V. (2011). Changes of photosynthesis-related parameters and productivity of Cannabis sativa under different nitrogen supply. Environ. Exp. Biol., 9 (1–2), 61–69.

McWilliam, J. R., Clements, R. J., Dowling, P. M. (1970). Some factors influencing the germination and early seedling development of pasture plants. Austr. J. Agric. Res., 21 (1), 19–32.

Muscolo, A., Bovalo, F., Gionfriddo, F., Nardi, S. (1999). Earthworm humic matter produces auxin-like effects on Daucus carota cell growth and nitrate metabolism. Soil Biol. Biochem., 31 (9), 1303–1311.

Nikbakht, A., Kafi, M., Babalar, M., Xia, Y. P., Luo, A., Etemadi, N.-A. (2008). Effect of humic acid on plant growth, nutrient uptake, and postharvest life of gerbera. J. Plant Nutr., 31 (12), 2155–2167.

Pant, A. P., Radovich, T. J. K., Hue, N. V., Talcott, S. T., Krenek, K. A. (2009). Vermicompost extracts influence growth, mineral nutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidant activity in pak choi (Brassica rapa cv. Bonsai, Chinensis group) grown under vermicompost and chemical fertiliser. J. Sci. Food Agric., 89 (14), 2383–2392.

Pattnaik, S., Reddy, M. V. (2010). Nutrient status of vermicompost of urban green waste processed by three earthworm species — Eisenia fetida, Eudrilus eugeniae, and Perionyx excavatus. Appl. Environ. Soil Sci., Article ID 967526, doi: 10.1155/2010/967526

Pedra, F., Plaza, C., Fernández, J. M., García-Gil, J. C., Polo, A. (2008). Effects of municipal solid waste compost and sewage sludge on chemical and spectroscopic properties of humic acids from a sandy Haplic Podzol and a clay loam Calcic Vertisol in Portugal. Waste Manage., 28 (11), 2183–2191.

Ranalli, P., Venturi, G. (2004). Hemp as a raw material for industrial applications. Euphytica, 140 (1), 1–6.

Sausserde, R., Adamovics, A. (2013). Industrial hemp for biomass production. J. Agric. Eng., 44 (2), e123.

Šimon, T., Czakó, A. (2014). Influence of long-term application of organic and inorganic fertilizers on soil properties. Plant Soil Environ., 60 (7), 314–319.

Tomati, U., Grappelli, A., Galli, E. (1988). The hormone-like effect of earthworm casts on plant growth. Biol. Fertil. Soils, 5 (4), 288–289.

Trevisan, S., Botton, A., Vaccaro, S., Vezzaro, A., Quaggiotti, S., Nardi, S. (2011). Humic substances affect Arabidopsis physiology by altering the expression of genes involved in primary metabolism, growth and development. Environ. Exp. Bot., 74, 45–55.

van der Werf, H. (1994). Crop physiology of fibre hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). Doctoral thesis. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands. 152 pp.

Xiaozhai, L., Clarke, R.C. (1995). The cultivation and use of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in ancient China. J. Int. Hemp Assoc. 2, 26–33.

Xu, D.-B., Wang, Q.-J., Wu, Y.-C., Yu, G.-H., Shen, Q.-R., Huang, Q.-W. (2012). Humic-like substances from different compost extracts could significantly promote cucumber growth. Pedosphere, 22 (6), 815–824.

Yang, C. M., Wang, M. C., Lu, Y. F., Cheng, I. F., Chou, C. H. (2004). Humic substances affect the activity of chlorophyllase. J. Chem. Ecol., 30 (5), 1057–1065.

Zaller, J. G. (2006). Foliar spraying of vermicompost extracts: Effects on fruit quality and indications of late-blight suppression of field-grown tomatoes. Biol. Agric. Hortic., 24 (2), 165–180.

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.127
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.211


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 501 442 37
PDF Downloads 234 221 17