2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To improve aquaculture production efficiency through systematic, coordinated
research on aquatic production systems, disease diagnostics, and prevention,
improved water quality, design of new equipment and production technologies,
improved management technologies, and improved marketing strategies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The research conducted will build upon previous work by UAPB scientists in pond
production performance and will focus on those aspects of production (stocking
densities, nutrition, management practices, and disease diagnostics and prevention)
with the greatest potential to improve performance efficiency. Interdisciplinary
pond, tank, and aquaria studies will be conducted to quantify production
relationships among critical parameters such as diet, density, growth, water
quality, management practices, and health, of important aquaculture species.
Engineering principles will be applied to the development of new equipment for
aquaculture production and to improve management technologies and strategies.
Agribusiness marketing techniques will be applied to develop improved marketing
strategies for aquaculture products.
In 2010, channel catfish were stocked late April into five 0.25-acre ponds per diet. Diets were a 28% protein traditional feed, a 28% protein corn gluten feed, a 32% protein corn gluten feed, and a 32% protein traditional feed. Each pond was stocked with 6,000 fingerlings/acre (5-8 inches; averaging 65 lb/1,000) and 2,000 lb/acre of larger, carryover fish (0.40-1.50 lb each). Fish were fed once daily to apparent satiation for 180 days from April to October. A partial budget was used to compare the economics of the various diets fed. It measured the changes in costs and benefits from switching from the 32% protein traditional diet to each of the other three diets. There were no statistical differences in the total yields, survival, total amount of feed fed, or mean weight at harvest of the larger, carryover fish. The principal effect of the different diets was that the protein level affected the yield of fingerlings, but not that of carryover fish.
The significantly lower fingerling yields of the 28% protein diets offset the lower feed cost and reduced profitability. The 32% protein corn gluten feed diet is economically preferable to the 32% protein traditional diet (because the lower cost of the corn gluten feed resulted in a positive net change in the partial budget). Some farms are faced with serious cash flow problems, and have business goals that are based on surviving the coming year. The 28% alternative (corn gluten feed) diet will result in the best Year 1 cash flow because the yield of marketable fish is the same, at a lower total feed cost. The 28% alternative diet would also work well for ponds that have mostly larger fish that are in final growout and have few understocked fingerlings.
The ADODR is in regular contact with the cooperator via email, phone, and site visits.