Bitwater Farms is not the usual type of facility that one would expect, especially from a company that identifies itself as a farm. What one should expect to see upon a visit to Bitwater Farms is more along the lines of a research facility. What do they farm, you might ask? Crickets, and lots of them.
Bitwater Farms is in the business of raising crickets in an effort to create a more sustainable livestock feed. But livestock is not the only focus, Bitwater Farms sells about 80 percent of its crickets as premium livestock feed and the other 20 percent goes to chefs who feature the insects on their menu. Crickets, though seemingly exotic food are an extremely high source of protein, especially considering their size. Bitwater Farms isn't the only place the sees a future in crickets though. In the 2013 Food and Agriculture Organization report "Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security," insect protein was recommended as one of the most sustainable forms of animal protein available.
Bitwater Farms focuses on three different sizes of cricket habitats known as M1, M2 and M3, which produce different amounts of crickets per harvest. M3s are considered the most profitable of the habitats as they can produce up to a ton of crickets per harvest cycle (about 6-8 weeks). Human-grade crickets sell for about $15 per half-pound sack while feed crickets sell for around $1-2 per pound. Raising healthy and clean crickets is of the utmost importance at Bitwater Farms, if any contamination occurs such as crickets spilling onto the ground during transportation, the contaminated insects are donated as bait. The crickets are kept in containers that are temperature and humidity monitored via computers.
As this unique sector of agriculture expands there will be an ever-growing need for new technology to help this new brand of farmer succeed. Bitwater Farms aims to be at the forefront of this farming frontier. Researchers at Bitwater Farms work to develop new technology that is tested on Bitwater Farms' own product to ensure functionality. The development and use of this new technology further demonstrates Bitwater Farms' position as a leader in the agricultural industry.