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

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Abstract

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.

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