Worm Growers FAQ
How do I know the potential markets for worms and castings?
- Look for facts and articles about the industries, statistics on the number of potential customers and any problems with supply. You should try to obtain this information from independent sources like newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc. We have gathered information like this into our Literature Package.
- You need to evaluate whether this trend is moving up, down or remaining constant. For example, when you look at the sport fishing industry, do you see more or less people fishing in the future. In addition, you need to look at any factors affecting the supply of bait and how that would determine the strength of the market and the prices charged. In the case of worm castings, do you see the movement towards organics increasing or decreasing? Again, the Literature Package has articles that will independently verify this.
What type of space is needed for the Unco commercial worm farming system?
- The amount of space required will depend on the amount of worms you plan to grow monthly. A part time operation producing 15,000 nightcrawlers and 5,200 pounds of worm castings per month can be done in as little as 350-400 square feet of space with no expensive equipment required. Because there are no offensive odors, this can be in a garage, basement, shed, or even a spare room and can grow to any size.
What is the difference between the Unco system and the bed system?
Old, uncontrolled bed system
- The Unco commercial worm farming system puts a precise number of the same size worms into a specific volume of scientifically formulated feed mix and bedding. This is then placed into a controlled environment for a specified period of time. This enables you to know exactly how many worms you have, what size they are, when they will be ready for sale and what your exact cost of production is. We have a video that shows the Unco commercial worm farming system step by step. In addition, instead of redworms, we use our cultured nightcrawler which is much more desirable in the lucrative live bait market, and pays the highest price for worms.
- The bed system starts with many different sizes of worms called bedrun and places them into a bed with whatever quantity of whatever bedding material is available. There are no temperature, moisture or timing controls. All of the worms, babies and cocoons are left together leaving you with no knowledge of how many worms and cocoons you have or what size they are. This also means that there is no inventory control which makes it difficult to do any planning and marketing in advance because you have no way of telling what there is available is to sell.
What is vermicomposting and how is it different from the commercial system that Unco uses?
- Vermicomposting is a process of using worms to breakdown organic matter. This can range from someone's kitchen scraps to rabbit manure to grass clippings. The worms ingest the organic material and then turn it into castings. The difference between this and commercial worm growing is that there are NO controls. You may get some growth and some reproduction but how much? The main focus in this process is the handling of some type of waste material. In the case of municipal waste, you are dealing with very large volumes of material, it is generally done in windrows and will require expensive investments in material handling equipment and some very specific expertise. This is all done outdoors and requires the ability to adapt to temperature and moisture variations which are at the mercy of the weather. There is the potential for odors and water runoff and this will pose problems for site approval due to zoning considerations and potential neighbor problems. If there is a large amount of green waste from home lawns, it is likely to have some amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, making the castings less of an "organic" product and not as desirable. In addition, the purity of the castings is nowhere near what is produced in the Unco commercial worm farming system controlled system because there is no way of being sure that this material has been completely eaten by the worms.
- The Unco System is a controlled production process for people looking to make a business of producing nightcrawlers and pure earthworm castings. The beauty of the Unco commercial worm farming system is the simplicity of it. You consistently get maximum growth of the more desirable cultured nightcrawler, maximum reproduction of eggs and a very large amount of the highest quality of pure castings that can be found anywhere. Our system can be done on a part time basis in a small amount of space without any expensive equipment needed or it can be operated as a large enterprise with automated harvesters, pulverizers, material handling equipment and automated bagging lines.