Illinois to become home to ‘world’s largest’ fly farm


DECATUR, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois will be home to the “world’s largest insect protein production site,” which will be used to make feed for farm animals.

InnovaFeed will operate the facility at ADM’s Decatur corn processing complex, according to Chemical and Engineering News.

The company says proteins and oils from the larvae of the black soldier fly will be used to make feed for farmed fish, poultry and pigs.

The black solider fly (Hermetia illucens) is close to a wasp in appearance, but poses no harm to humans. An adult female lays between 200-600 eggs at a time. InnovaFeed says the flies will feed off the byproducts of ADM’s corn processing.

Insect farmers say growing protein-rich feed for livestock takes up a lot of land and water, and their method uses very little of either.

InnovaFeed currently operates two facilities in France.

The new plant will produced 60,000 metric tons of protein, 20,000 tons of oil, and 400,000 tons of fertilizer, and is expected to employ 280 workers.

“At a time when the demand for animal feed protein is steadily increasing, insect farming stands out as a true solution for the future,” said Chris Cuddy, ADM senior vice president and president of the company’s carbohydrate solutions business. “We’re excited to work with InnovaFeed on this ambitious project, which further expands our participation in the growing market for animal food and feed that comes from responsible, sustainable sources. It’s a great demonstration of how ADM is expanding its value chain by offering opportunities for collaboration to leading, innovative startups. It’s yet another example of how we’re constantly identifying new ways to create value from corn, oilseeds and more. And of course, we’re extremely proud that we can help bring this new, job-creating project to Decatur, the home of our North American headquarters.”

“InnovaFeed’s decision to bring their first ever international facility and state-of-the-art agriculture technology to Illinois is a vote of confidence for our state, and a win for our farming communities,” said Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. “Illinois has always been a global leader in agriculture and technology, and we offer the resources to support this major international expansion – with an educated workforce, proximity to global businesses like ADM, and access to shipping and logistics. The investments InnovaFeed is making in Decatur will not only support our thriving agriculture industry – a cornerstone of our economy – but will unlock new well-paying jobs for our communities.”

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