Catfish growers suffer as feed costs soar
Mississippians do not have to look far to see the impact of the Midwest’s historic drought, as the state’s catfish farmers already feel the pinch of sky-high feed costs.
“There was a window last fall when some farmers were able to book feed at $380 per ton,” said Jimmy Avery, Mississippi State University Extension aquaculture specialist and director of the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center. “Feed costs stayed around $400 per ton for the early part of the growing season but skyrocketed to almost $570 per ton in the last few weeks.
“Couple that increase with fish prices falling from $1.35 per pound to 75 cents per pound, and there is no doubt that the majority of farmers will lose money until something turns around,” he said.