Academic Venture Fund - 2013

Biodegradation of Cattle Manure Using Fly Larvae

Cow near manure

Manure is a major challenge for livestock operations and a threat to groundwater and human health. This team is creating a natural strategy for waste management and developing a profitable animal feed at the same time. The researchers will use dairy manure as a nursery for fly larvae. The larvae biodegrade the manure, reducing mass and excess nutrients so that it can be safely sold as organic compost. The harvested larvae are ground into larva meal—a high-protein food source for animals that substitutes for fishmeal and human food grains.

Investigators: Vimal Selvaraj, Patricia Johnson, Mark Milstein, Jan Nyrop