In-Soil Hatching and Propagation of Commercially Marketable Earthworm Cocoons
Department of Agriculture
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
Advanced Prairie, Inc.
1011 N. Church Street, Gibson City, IL, 60936
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Abstract"The beneficial effects of earthworms on soil structure, chemistry, microbiology, and crop yield are well demonstrated. Advanced Prairie, Inc. has developed a method of harvesting and encapsulating earthworm cocoons to make them available for mass market distribution. A previous SBIR proposal demonstrated the storage (at least five months) and shipping viability of the encapsulated cocoons. The proposed project will determine the hatch rate of hand-inoculated earthworm cocoons in actual soil environments. An outdoor experiment will test hatch rates in active farmland, subject to uncontrolled weather conditions. A controlled indoor experiment will determine the effects of moisture, organic matter, and encapsulation on the hatch rate of two species of earthworms, Lumbricus rubellus and Dendrobaena veneta, in field soil. In addition, we will initiate longer-term experiments on earthworm propagation to make possible more meaningful results in Phase II."
* information listed above is at the time of submission.