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Pros and Cons of Catfish Crisis

by Ellen Hardy
28 August 2008, at 1:00am

US - With many Southern catfish farmers losing money and converting acreage to row crops, Roger Barlow might be forgiven a stormy mood.

But while not downplaying the problems, the Mississippi-based president of the Catfish Institute (CFI) and executive director of Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) remains positive and insists the besieged industry will weather the financial storm, reports Globefish.

Barlow, fresh off a marketing trip to Canada, recently spoke with Delta Farm Press about the industry’s current crises, the impact of burgeoning feed and fuel costs, the thinking/research behind the coming “Delacata” and feeding the crowd at a coming presidential debate.

He says that Due to higher operating costs, farmers are losing money on the fish they grow. Bottom line is the farmers must make a profit and (to do that requires) stabilization of feed costs and the prices received (for catfish) must be higher.

Federal feed assistance is needed, whether for catfish or beef, poultry, dairy or pork. (In essence) a feeding/fuel surcharge has been added with this escalation of the oil price.

Ellen Hardy