D. Allen Pattillo
Iowa State University Extension & Outreach
Fish producers can stay current on the areas of fish health, feeding practices, water quality and water treatment by referring to the standard operating procedures for aquaculture outlined in new Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publications. The publications are available as free downloads from the ISU Extension Online Store at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/.
According to D. Allen Pattillo, extension fisheries specialist, interest in indoor recirculating aquaculture in the north central part of the United States has greatly increased in the past several years. Recirculating aquaculture is when the fish tank water is filtered by mechanical and biological processes to create a highly efficient, bio-secure and environmentally friendly method of livestock production.
A USDA report on the aquaculture industry released last year showed that the number of fish farms in Iowa jumped from 21 in 2005 to 31 in 2013.
The North Central Regional Aquaculture Center advances emerging trends in the aquaculture industry and identifies research questions that will help the industry progress. The center gathers input from aquaculture producers in 12 Midwestern states and directs federal funds to research and extension projects. The ISU Extension and Outreach Value Added Agriculture Program and the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center have closely worked with NCRAC and provide ongoing coordination and assistance for Iowa’s developing aquaculture industry.
The aquaculture publication series was developed to help educate new and beginning farmers on critical aspects of recirculating aquaculture and to get a jump-start on business planning and management through fact sheets, standard operating procedures and records management templates.
Funding for this series was provided by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise grant, and with support from the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.