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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetics, Physiology, and Health Research to Improve Catfish Production

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Multi-batch catfish production and economic analysis using alternative low-cost diets with corn gluten feed and traditional diets with meat-and-bone meal

Authors
item Lochmann, Rebecca -
item Engle, Carole -
item Kumar, Ganesh -
item Li, Menghe -
item Avery, Jimmy -
item Bosworth, Brian
item Tucker, Craig

Submitted to: Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 29, 2012
Publication Date: November 5, 2012
Citation: Lochmann, R., Engle, C., Kumar, G., Li, M., Avery, J., Bosworth, B.G., Tucker, C.S. 2012. Multi-batch catfish production and economic analysis using alternative low-cost diets with corn gluten feed and traditional diets with meat-and-bone meal. Aquaculture. 366-367:34-39.

Interpretive Summary: Traditional catfish feeds have been formulated primarily from soybean meal, corn, and wheat middlings and a small amount of animal protein and nutrient supplements. Prices for traditional catfish feed ingredients have increased dramatically, prompting catfish nutritionists and feed manufacturers to seek low-cost alternative feed ingredients to reduce feed cost without compromising fish performance. Concurrent channel catfish feeding trials were conducted in Mississippi and Arkansas to evaluate production and economic effects of alternative (low-cost) feeds containing 28 or 32% protein and alternative (corn gluten feed) or traditional (porcine meat, bone and blood meal) protein sources. Feed fed, weight and yield of market-size fish, feed conversion efficiency, survival, carcass yield, and fillet yield were similar among diets. Based on market-sized fish responses from both study sites, short-term cash flow was best on the 28% protein corn gluten feed diet. However, the lower yield of understocked fingerlings fed 28% protein diets may reduce longer-term profits.

Technical Abstract: We conducted concurrent feeding trials for one growing season with channel catfish in ponds in Mississippi and Arkansas to evaluate the production and economic effects of alternative (low-cost) feeds containing 28 or 32% protein and alternative (corn gluten feed) or traditional (porcine meat, bone and blood meal) protein sources. Supplemental lysine was added to all diets except the 32% protein traditional diet to meet the available lysine requirement for catfish. Higher concentrations of dicalcium phosphate were also included in the alternative diets to meet the available phosphorus requirement for catfish. Fish were stocked in a multi-batch system and the same diets and general management protocols were used at both sites. At harvest, there were no differences in the total amount of feed fed, yield of market-size fish, mean weight of market-size fish, feed conversion, survival, carcass yield, or fillet yield among dietary treatments at both sites. There were some differences in processing yield and fillet composition, but the main diet effect was the higher yield of fingerlings fed diets with 32% protein compared to 28% protein in the Arkansas trial. The 28% protein alternative (corn gluten feed) diet would result in the best Year 1 cash flow because the yield of marketable fish was the same, at a lower total feed cost. However, the lower yield of fingerlings fed 28% protein diets will weaken the farm's balance sheet and show reduced profitability. Second-year performance and economics of understocked fish fed 28% protein diets are unknown.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014