Grain Free Pasture Egg Production

Project Overview

FNC17-1097
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2017: $6,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2018
Grant Recipient: Grassway Organics
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Charles Self
Grassway Organics

Information Products

(Course or Curriculum)

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed management, free-range, grazing management, manure management
  • Crop Production: Insects
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wetlands
  • Pest Management: competition
  • Production Systems: dryland farming
  • Soil Management: organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: quality of life

    Summary:

    Problem

    We imported about $50,000 dollars worth of feed. If we could cut this down even by 50 percent we could make serious profit raising eggs.

    This model can work for all grazing farms if we can do it successfully.

    The other big problem is the waste that is found in our local communities. Talking just waste from grocery stores we could indicate at least a large portion of methane produced from decaying food. Soldier flies can consume the waste and produce sustainable protein while reducing a portion of the methane produced from thrown out food.

    We have an endless amount of waste from our cows that will be the main food for our soldier fly production.

    Solution

    With the research grant we would hope to solve the need to import or grow grains to produce eggs. The research can be done with a hands-on approach right here on the farm. In one growing season we could easily see if it is feasible to produce soldier fly grubs in a mobile form. The research will also solve how to manage grubs in the hard winters in Wisconsin. This is a great area to see if this can work because if we can do it here we can do it anywhere.

    Project objectives:

    1. Use the data collected from this project to see how much protein (Black Soldier Fly larvae) can be produced without having to feed grain. I believe a path to sustainable agriculture will come with insects. We cannot maintain the earth’s population without finding alternatives to corn and soy. Insects are the fastest and most sustainable method of protein found on the planet to this day.
    2. Determine how to make this model work for other farmers. This could be the future of grain-free operations.
    3. Explore how to turn waste from the farm and grocery stores into a product (black soldier fly larvae) that does not produce methane and instead nourishes a community with eggs.  
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.