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Virginia Grants to Sustain Aquaculture Industry

US - The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) just announced the availability of grants for aquaculture producers from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Grant funds will assist producers for losses associated with high feed costs during the 2008 calendar year.  The deadline for receipt of applications is August 21, 2009.

Todd Haymore, VDACS Commissioner, said that Virginia received $251,232 in grant funds, which will go directly to producers. Funding is based on the amount of feed used in Virginia by aquaculture producers during 2008.

 “Aquaculture is an important and growing industry in Virginia, with cash receipts of almost $43 million in 2007, the last year for which we have statistics. It ranks fifteenth in our list of top commodities and 10th nationally in total aquaculture production,” he said. “Many of our producers suffered a major financial impact last year because of feed prices so I am grateful that these funds are available to provide some relief.”

In order to be eligible for the grants, VDACS submitted an Aquaculture Work Plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Click here for the plan, approved by the USDA on July 17, 2009.

Producers must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. they must be able to document that their feed input costs represented at least 25 percent of their total input costs for the aquaculture operation, as certified by the producer; and
  2. hey must have experienced at least a 25 percent price increase of 2008 feed costs above the previous five year average (2003-2007), as determined by VDACS.

The amount of assistance provided to an eligible aquaculture producer will not exceed the amount of losses suffered as a result of high feed costs during the 2008 calendar year.

the Fish Site Editor

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