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Evaluation of the Economics of Multi-Batch Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus Production Fed an Industry Standard and Three Alternative Diets

Pugliese, Neil, Heikes, David, Engle, Carole, Bosworth, Brian, Lochmann, Rebecca
Journal of applied aquaculture 2012 v.24 no.3 pp. 271-282
Ictalurus punctatus, corn gluten, corn protein, feed conversion, feed formulation, feed mills, fish, fish culture, income, ingredients, lipid content, manufacturing, ponds, prices, visceral fat
High ingredient prices in 2008 led feed mills to manufacture new, less expensive feed formulations untested under commercial catfish farming conditions. Sixteen 0.1-ha ponds were stocked in multi-batch production with: (1) 32% protein control, an industry standard; (2) 32% protein alternative; (3) 32% protein corn gluten; and (4) 24% protein diets. A partial budget analysis evaluated the relative economics. The 32% control diet resulted in significantly greater yield of carryover fish. Feed conversion ratios of the control and 32% alternative diets were significantly lower than those of the 32% corn gluten and 24% protein diets, but visceral fat content was higher for the control and 32% alternative diets. The control diet was economically preferable to the alternative diets because the additional revenue from the greater yield of fish fed the control (industry standard) diet more than offset the reduced cost of the alternate diets evaluated.