Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit
Project Number: 0500-00031-001-06
Start Date: Sep 25, 2013
End Date: Dec 31, 2014
Agricultural enterprise budgeting methodology will be employed to estimate the cost of producing farm-raised catfish under a variety of production systems, including several new technologies recently developed or currently under development. Three innovations of particular interests are: hybrid catfish varieties, split-pond designs, and vaccine delivery systems. Capital budgeting techniques will be used in conjunction with baseline enterprise analysis to evaluate the economic feasibility of investment in split-pond and vaccine delivery systems. Personal contacts with producers, processors and industry organizations will be conducted to collect basic production, processing, product types/categories and sales information. Using these data, a better understanding of the U.S. farm-raised catfish sector can provide vital information for industry analysis. Consumer acceptance for farm-raised catfish will be identified through taste testing in restaurant locations and consumer focus groups outside the south. Taste testing evaluation will identify consumers’ preferences for farm-raised catfish versus competing products and assist is identifying consumers’ willingness to pay for catfish and various product attributes. An on-line survey instrument will be developed to collect desirable characteristics of catfish compared to competing fish/seafood products.