In June, 1990, the 4th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology (ISEE4) was held in Avignon. France, and about 180 communications were presented, with contributors from all six continents. Soil science (soil physics, soil microbiology, biochemistry and organic matter studies) and land use practices (pastures and croplands, the environment and waste management) were figure prominently in the reports of current earthworm research.
I felt, if I was getting into the worm business, what better place to go to meet the world renowned experts in the field of Earthworm ecology.
This turned out to be a very wise choice of mine, since I met many and later, the ones I did meet, mentored me over the next 20 years.
Dr. Edwards being the closest to me.
Dr. Clive Edwards, PhD.
418 Aronoff Laboratory, Stanley J
318 W 12th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210
Area of expertise:
Soil Ecology, Soil Ecotoxicology, Earthworms, vermiculture, vermicomposting.
On October 12, 2004 we held a Vermicultural Summit. The participants at this meeting were (left to right ) Bill Kreitzer, Founder and CEO, Roland Garton, Business Manager, Guest Chad Hurley, Dr. Norman Arancon, from The Ohio State University, Professor Edwards assistant, (Dr. Arancon is now associated with the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hawaii, Hilo) John Reep, President and CFO, (retired) and Consultant Professor Clive Edwards. Dr. Edwards has helped to guide the project from its inception.
Earthworms prefer a near-neutral soil pH, moist soil conditions, and plenty of plant residue on the soil surface. They are sensitive to certain pesticides and some incorporated fertilizers. Carbamate insecticides, including Furadan, Sevin, and Temik, are harmful to earthworms, notes worm biologist Clive Edwards of Ohio State University (4). Some insecticides in the organophosphate family are mildly toxic to earthworms, while synthetic pyrethroids are harmless to them (4). Most herbicides have little effect on worms except for the triazines, such as Atrazine, which are moderately toxic. Also, anhydrous ammonia kills earthworms in the injection zone because it dries the soil and temporarily increases the pH there. High rates of ammonium-based fertilizers are also harmful. Going no-till and buying VermiPods™ are made for each other. One that I think every farmer should consider. By following ATTRA’s protocols and by going no-till is the only way to raise and keep your earthworms alive. References: 4) Edwards, Clive A., and P.J. Bohlen. 1996. Biology and Ecology of Earthworms. Chapman and Hall, New York. 426 p.
Here Dr. Norman Arancon and I are
inspecting a 14-week sample of
hatched VermiPods. This was in 2007
at yet another Vermicultural Summit
which we hosted.