Becoming a Seed Company.
It was quite obvious to me early on that after being offered $10,000 by a seed company for pre-mixing rights, that it would only be prudent to also get into the seed business. On January 1, 1991 My company received a license agreement from Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc. of Champaign, IL to produce and merchandise soybean strains F3290, F3684 and F2790 and hybrid corn seeds strains M317X, M485X and M478X. This licensing partnership enabled API to now include VermiPods™ along with VPI’s Hybrid Seed Corn and three different varieties soybean seed. For an example; taking an average price for seed corn, if we just sold one percent of the corn acres, the revenues from the sale of seed corn alone would be in the millions. The sales of VermiPods™ could be exclusively sold with our seeds if we choose to do so.
We sometimes windrow our soybean stubble to increase the earthworm population.
Each flag in this picture represents one Lumbricus Terrestris earthworm. It has been estimated that we have $11,000 dollars worth of this species alone per acre. This field has at least 4 to 5 different species.
I started this 5 acre research test plot in 1991. This was the first year without adding any Potash or Phosphate fertilizer, just Earthworms. I rotate this plot with soybeans every other year. No fertilizer (except for Nitrogen on corn years) has been applied now for the past 25 years.
It took a few years to get our corn average of 159 -169 to over 200 bushels per acre. Soybean averages where somewhere between 35 to 45 bushels per acre. Our corn has averaged over 200 bushels per acre for the last 5 years and Soybeans have averaged over 66. Not bad when you consider there hasn't been any fertilizer added for over 25 years.
Species of Earthworms:
Different species of earthworms perform distinct jobs. Some will burrow horizontally, while others will burrow vertically, some to a depth of twelve feet. This is why VermiPods™ are a specially selected mixture of earthworm cocoons. Earthworm cocoons that are currently being encapsulated and made into VermiPods™ are:
1) Aporrectodea caliginosa, the common pasture earthworm.
2) Dendrobaena veneta, the European night crawler
3) Eisenia fetida, the manure worm.*
4) Eisenia Andrei, the Red Tiger worm
5) Lumbricus terrestris, the common night crawler or dew-worm.
6) Lumbricus rubellus*, the red marsh worm. Commonly found in places rich in organic matter and moisture such as gardens and pastures.
The reproductive habits of different species of earthworms will vary. For example, the Aporrectodea caliginosa earthworm will lay only one cocoon every twenty-eight days, while the *Lumbricus rubellus earthworm lays a cocoon every other day. Depending on the species of earthworm, each cocoon will contain anywhere from one to eight eggs.
*For an example. If you happen to raise
livestock, VermiPods that have been encapsulated
with Eisenia fetida earthworm cocoons would be
I am pointing to a baby Lumbricus rubellus earthworm which was planted a few weeks before.
Jim Shaw from Uncle Jims Worm Farm had me ship VermiPods to The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Uncle Jims Worm Farm is a VermiPod dealer.
Vile on the left are DV cocoons and on the right are LR cocoons ready for encapsulation. We are very accurate in our cocoon count for each species of earthworms. LR cocoons take up exactly 42.4 cocoons per milliliter or 1,696 per 40 ml.