Home » NEWS » Low feed prices, shortage lead to catfish profits
Production increases expected as ocean fish resources dwindle

Low feed prices, shortage lead to catfish profits

STONEVILLE — Catfish are not only one of the few currently profitable agricultural products in Mississippi. Sales of the pond-raised fish also help prevent the balance of trade deficit for imports of fish being even higher than it is at present by meeting part of the domestic demand for fish.

In 1998 the U.S. saw a record $6-billion seafood trade deficit that was attributed to the growing American appetite for fish and other seafood products combined with a strong U.S. dollar, and weak harvests of domestic wild-caught fish. The U.S. exported about $2.1 billion worth of fish, which was down because of the economic crisis in Asia.

About 70% of the world’s farm-raised catfish production comes from Mississippi. Sunflower and Humphreys counties alone have more acreage of catfish ponds than any other state, and Mississippi has more acreage than all the rest of the states combined.

Sunflower County Extension agent Thomas Baird said that feed prices for catfish are now at a 15- to 20-year low.

“The cost of feed is the largest factor in profitability,” Baird said. “We had a sizeable winter kill this winter. We lost some fish. That created a shortage, so pond bank prices are up a little bit from last year to about 70


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Becky Gillette

Leave a Reply