North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

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Enterprise Budgets for Yellow Perch Production in Cages and Ponds in the North Central Region, 1994-95

1997-05-01 , Riepe, Jean , North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

This study reports the results of an investigation into the costs of culturing yellow perch for the food fish market in the North Central Region (NCR). Enterprise budgets were developed for both cage and pond production systems at two size levels, 5,000 and 50,000 pounds of production. Because only a handful of established yellow perch aquaculture operations currently exist in the NCR, hypothetical production systems were modeled. Production values used in the budgets (e.g., feed conversion ratio, death loss, stocking rate) were based on the expert opinion of research and extension personnel at various universities in the NCR who are familiar with yellow perch. The production costs developed in this study suggest that larger systems, which can capture economies of size in investment and input costs, are likely to be economically feasible. The breakeven prices (cost per pound) for the larger cage and pond operations were similar and averaged about $2.00 per pound. This price is near the bottom of the range of monthly average wholesale market prices for yellow perch in the round reported by Lake Erie processors.

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Niche Marketing Your Aquaculture Products

1994 , Swann, LaDon , Riepe, Jean , North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

Producers who are ready to harvest their first crop of fish, often ask, “Where will I sell them?” It is surprising how many producers ask this question so late in the production cycle. To avoid certain failure of an aquaculture enterprise, producers must seriously investigate the marketplace as an initial step before investing in production. Midwestern farmers in traditional farming enterprises, such as corn, soybeans, beef, swine, and poultry, use well-established markets that have been highly refined over the last few decades. For example, go to any rural town, regardless of its size, and you’ll likely find a grain elevator or stockyard where buyers or outlets for products are available almost daily. Aquaculture, unlike other agriculture enterprises, is in its infancy, especially in the Midwest. Large-scale processing plants solely for aquaculture products are nonexistent in this region. As a result, fish and crayfish farmers are forced to use niche markets for their products.

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Walleye Markets in the North Central Region: Results of a 1996/97 Survey

1998-08-01 , Riepe, Jean , North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

Walleye is a popular sport and eating fish in the North Central Region (NCR). Virtually all U. S. walleye fisheries are off-limits to commercial fishermen in favor of sport fishermen. The commercial demand for walleye is supplied primarily by the Canadian market which has experienced some declines in its walleye fisheries. Because of walleye’s popularity, high market value, and supply limitations, interest in the commercial culture of walleye has intensified in recent years. Considerable funds have been invested in developing commercial culture practices. This study examines marketing challenges and opportunities for commercial walleye aquaculture.

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Cage Culture of Fish in the North Central Region

1994-12-01 , Swann, LaDon , Morris, Joseph , Morris, Joseph , Selock, Dan , Riepe, Jean , North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

The commercial production of fish is most commonly performed in open ponds, raceways, water reuse systems, and cages. Cage culture of fish is an intensive production method that allows the farmer to utilize existing farm ponds, borrow pits, or strip pits normally unsuitable for open pond culture, by enclosing fish in cages or pens. Generally, yields (pounds/acre) are greater in open pond culture. However, there are times when existing bodies of water do not lend themselves to open pond culture and cage culture may be the best alternative.