U.S. catfish farmers struggle to hold on

The soaring price of feed for catfish and competition from imports has eroded the profitability of catfish farms, an aquaculture expert said.

Catfish feed prices hovered near USD 250 a ton for two decades before jumping to USD 600 a ton in the past two years, The New York Times reported Saturday.

“It’s impossible to make even a napkin calculation showing that this is profitable,” said Craig Tucker, a former director of the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center of Mississippi State University.

A long-time trend in rising feed prices and the recent surge in prices has pushed many catfish farmers out of business during the past year — helping drive up the price for fish, a benefit for those that remain in business.

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