Potential for soybean feeds in US aquaculture
Joe Meyer, Director and United Soybean Board member, believes farm-raised aquaculture represents another growing market for US soybean farmers.
Meyer says currently the greatest demand rests in the China freshwater sector, which produces 63% of global aquaculture.
Estimates show the Chinese aquaculture industry uses up to 6.5 million metric tons of soy to feed fish.
Meyer says that is the equivalent of 239 million bushels of soybeans, more than all of the soybeans produced in his home state of Indiana last year.
Global demand for seafood continues to increase, with the United States consuming about $15 billion worth of seafood annually.
At the same time, the wild catch of fish in US lakes and seas continues to level off or decrease.
Meyer points out that this means less fish meal to use as fish feed. Therefore, a promising opportunity for including soy in aquaculture feed exists now and in the future.
While the bulk of the soy-in-aquaculture efforts come in international markets, the use of soy in fish farming represents a potentially growing market in the United States as well.
The soybean checkoff reports that in 2008, domestic aquaculture used about 210,000 metric tons of soybean meal or over 7.7 million bushels of soybeans.
Meyer concludes that while this represents only 1% of domestic soybean meal use, it does represent an exciting new and growing market.
Source: Hoosier Ag Today
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