Source: UNIV OF ARKANSAS submitted to
COST EFFECTIVE PRODUCTION AND MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR CATFISH FARMS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0195542
Grant No.
2003-34454-13131
Project No.
ARX03011
Proposal No.
2003-06015
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
QJ
Project Start Date
May 15, 2003
Project End Date
May 14, 2006
Grant Year
2003
Project Director
Engle, C. R.
Recipient Organization
UNIV OF ARKANSAS
(N/A)
PINE BLUFF,AR 71601
Performing Department
AQUACULTURE & FISHERIES
Non Technical Summary
Catfish prices declined in 2002 to the lowest levels in over 20 years. With low prices, many fish farmers have begun to search for low-cost production management strategies. Diet composition and feeding practices are interrelated because they both impact nutrient utilization and affect the efficiency of catfish production. Monitoring of photosynthetic efficiency may provide a method to predict such bloom die-offs. The catfish industry is becoming interested in retail sales of catfish because of the competitive nature that imported fish fillets pose at the foodservice sector market. Results of this project are expected to provide guidance to assist catfish farmers to survive the current period of low prices. The overall project goal is to identify cost-effective production and marketing strategies to reduce costs on catfish farms. This project will address some key constraints related to catfish production and marketing strategies to improve profits through improved feeding and marketing strategies for catfish.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
3073710106050%
3073710301025%
3073715106025%
Goals / Objectives
Specific project objectives include the following: 1) To identify profit-maximizing feeding strategies for channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) during times of limited cash availability that restricts feed purchases. 2) Manipulate diet composition to optimize desirable production traits (survival, growth, feed conversion, body composition) and profitability of production. 3) To evaluate chlorophyll fluorescence parameters as measures of bloom "health" in hypereutrophic aquaculture ponds. 4) To assemble retail prices of the various cuts of catfish, i.e., fresh and frozen forms of round and gutted whole fish, whole dressed fish, steaks, fillets, nuggets, and other value-added products. 5) To evaluate grocery-retail demand for catfish products, including a determination of factors that may be necessary for developing retail packages for catfish. An assessment will also be made about the use of origin as a cue for food safety and quality.
Project Methods
A pond production study will be conducted to evaluate the effect of two different feed protein levels on production, feed, and economic parameters. Yield, growth, survival, feed conversion ratio, feed efficiency ratio, protein efficiency ratio, proximate body composition, dressout yield, production costs, and economic risk will be compared for catfish fed either a 28 or 36% protein feed every other day. Practical diets will be formulated and evaluated to determine the incremental change in performance as optimal dietary ingredients are replaced with lower-priced ingredients. Partial budget analyses will be developed to estimate the impact on breakeven price of catfish. This analysis will compare the value of any reduction in channel catfish performance with the benefit of reduced feed cost. Diet compositions that appear to have potential to result in lower costs of production will be tested in ponds. Vertical profiling of pond water will be conducted as an adjunct to planned catfish production studies. Chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and PAR will be measured at intervals over the production season and correlated with dissolved oxygen and other water quality parameters. Retail prices of the various cuts will be collected from major grocery stores in major cities in Arkansas (Little Rock), Oklahoma (Tulsa, Oklahoma City), Texas (Dallas, San Antonio, Houston), Louisiana (Baton Rouge, New Orleans), Alabama (Birmingham, Montgomery), Mississippi (Jackson) and Tennessee (Memphis, Nashville). A telephone survey will be conducted of consumers in the following states: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Logistic regression techniques will be used to analyze responses to the survey. A determination will be made of factors that may be necessary for developing retail packages for catfish.

Progress 05/15/03 to 05/14/06

Outputs
A commercial 32% protein catfish feed was ground and re-pelleted with different lipid supplements: 1) arachidonic acid (ARA), 2) docosahexanoic acid (DHA), 3) a mixture of ARA and DHA (50/50%), or 4) conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). One additional diet was not supplemented (control). A feeding trial (10 weeks) was conducted in 110-L aquaria in a flow-through system. Each diet was fed to four tanks of eight fish averaging 5.7 g initially at a rate of 4-5% divided into feedings. Fish were weighed every two weeks. At the end of the trial final weights were obtained. Lysosome and alternative complement activity were each measured in four fish per tank (16 individual fish per assay per treatment). Bled fish carcasses were frozen prior to analysis of proximate composition. Fatty acid supplements significantly increased the levels of healthy fatty acids in fish muscle, indicating the practical potential for manipulating channel catfish composition to benefit human health. Long-term trends in household consumption expenditures indicate that a larger share of food expenditure is devoted to prepared foods and meals consumed away from home. Retail food sales account for over 52% of total household food expenditures. The grocery retail outlet presents a potential for increased sale and demand for catfish products. A marketing strategy of labeling, emphasizing "U.S. farm-raised catfish" can better be pursued at the retail market level. The study examined retail catfish purchase patterns of households to determine the potential for increasing catfish sales through grocery outlets. A telephone survey of 1,194 households in Little Rock, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Birmingham, Montgomery, Jackson, Mississippi, and Nashville was conducted in March 2003. Catfish was indicated as the most frequently purchased fish by 49% of respondents. Sixty-nine percent of respondents purchase their fish fresh, 16% purchase their fish frozen, and 15% purchase their fish cooked. In terms of quantity of fish purchased per visit, 78% of respondents buy 1-5 lb, 19% buy 6-10 lb, and 2% buy over 10 lb. Results also indicate that 52% respondents prepare catfish fried, 25% prepare it baked, and 23% prepare it some other way. There appears to be some potential for increasing grocery retail sales of catfish, especially when the product is fresh.

Impacts
Survey results provide guidelines to increase grocery retail sales of fresh catfish products. These value-added products may cost more but will cater to the increasingly health-conscious public who now see coldwater fish as their only option to increase their n-3 fatty acid intake.

Publications

  • Quagrainie, K. K. and C. R. Engle. 2006. A latent class model for analyzing preferences for catfish. Aquaculture Economics and Management. 10:1-14.
  • Davis, T. and R. Lochmann. 2006. The effects of a dietary supplement (bacillus spores) on performance of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and water quality. Abstracts, Student/Faculty Research Forum, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Kumar, G. and C. Engle. 2006. Household preferences and consumption patterns of farm-raised catfish in the U. S. Abstracts, Student/Faculty Research Forum, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


Progress 01/01/05 to 09/30/05

Outputs
A commercial 32% protein catfish feed was ground and repelleted with different lipid supplements: 1) arachidonic acid (ARA), 2) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 3) a mixture of ARA and DHA (50/50%), or 4) conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). One additional diet was not supplemented (control). A feeding trial (10 weeks) was conducted in 110-L aquaria in a flow-through system. Each diet was fed to four tanks of eight fish averaging 5.7 g initially at a rate of 4-5% divided into two feedings. Lysosome and alternative complement activity were each measured in four fish per tank (16 individual fish per assay per treatment). Bled fish carcasses were frozen prior to analysis of proximate composition. Fatty acid suplements significantly increased the levels of healthy fatty acids in fish muscle, indicating the practical potential for manipulating channel catfish composition to benefit human health. These value-added products may cost more but will cater to the increasingly health-conscious public who now see coldwater fish as their only option to increase their n-3 fatty acid intake. Supermarkets and restaurants play a significant role in marketing various types of aquaculture products. To expand catfish sales and consumption to non-traditional catfish areas, it is important to understand the preferences of seafood buyers in the away-from-home food sector and in supermarkets. The study utilized primary data obtained from a national mail survey of supermarkets and restaurants. The sampling universe included 568 chain supermarkets, 1,215 single unit supermarkets, 548 chain restaurant and 439 single unit restaurants. A total of 98 completed surveys were obtained from restaurants (11% response rate) and 197 completed surveys were obtained from supermarkets (11% response rate). Catfish ranks amongst the top five selling seafood sold in the US by both restaurants and supermarkets. The majority of restaurants indicated summer and spring as peak demand seasons for seafood. Freshness and quality of product were the two important concerns indicated by respondents that sold catfish. Logit analysis shows that chain restaurants and those restaurants whose customers prefer farm-raised fish are more likely to serve catfish. If the restaurant is serving same amount of catfish compared to last year then it will be moe likely that it will be a high volume catfish seller. for supermarkets, 88% of managers reported selling catfish. The region that showed the highest percentage of catfish sales was the South (98%), followed by the Midwest (89%), the West (85%), and the Northeast (73%). Distributors were the major suppliers in all four regions. On product form, 66% of supermarkets sold catfish fresh onice, 54% sold catfish frozen, 10% sold it as a value-added product, 7% sold catfish packaged and 1% sold cooked catfish products. Chain supermarkets, located in the city and whose customers prefer farm-raised fish were more likely to sell catfish. Supermarkets whose suppliers were distibutors/wholesalers were more likely to be high volume catfish sellers.

Impacts
Guidelines for improving the health attributes of catfish products as well as improving marketing strategies for U.S. farm-raised catfish will assist the industry to establish successful targeted marketing efforts.

Publications

  • Quagrainie, K.K. and C. Engle. 2005. IQF catfish retail pack: a study of consumers' willingness to pay. Abstract. World Aquaculture 2005, Bali, Indonesia.
  • Quagrainie, K.K. 2003. A dynamic almost ideal demand model for US catfish. Aquaculture Economics and Management 7(5/6):263-271.
  • Quagrainie, K.K. and S. Shreay. 2005. A study of catfish demand by supermarkets, World Aquaculture 2005, Bali, Indonesia, May 9-13.
  • Kachowski, A. and N. Stone. 2005. Growth rates of golden shiner fry stocked at low densities in experimental ponds. Aquaculture America 2005. New Orleans, Louisiana, January 17-20.
  • Quagrainie, K. and S. Shreay. A study of catfish demand by restaurants, Aquaculture America 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Quagrainie, K. and S. Shreay. A study of catfish demand by supermarkets, Aquaculture America 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Quagrainie, K., C. Engle and K. Curtis. 2004. Retail grocery market for catfish: any potential for growth? Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence Field Day, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
Long-term trends in household consumption expenditure indicate that a larger share of food expenditure is devoted to prepared foods and meals consumed away from home. Retail food sales account for over 52% of total household food expenditures. The grocery retail outlet presents a potential for increased sale and demand for catfish products. A marketing strategy of labeling, emphasizing "U.S. farm-raised catfish" can better be pursued at the retail market level. The study examined retail catfish purchase patterns of households to determine the potential for increasing catfish sales through grocery outlets. A telephone survey of 1,194 households in Little Rock, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Birmingham, Montgomery, Jackson, Mississippi and Nashville was conducted in March 2003. Catfish was indicated as the most frequently purchased fish by 49% of respondents. Sixty-nine percent of respondents purchase their fish fresh, 16% purchase their fish frozen, and 15% purchase their fish cooked. In terms of quantity of fish purchased per visit, 78% of respondents buy 1-5lbs, 19% buy 6-10lbs, and 2% buy over 10lbs. Results also indicate that 52% of respondents prepare catfish fried, 25% prepare it baked, and 23% prepare it some other way. There appears to be some potential for increasing grocery retail sales of catfish, especially when the product is fresh.

Impacts
Guidelines for improving marketing strategies for U.S. farm-raised catfish will assist the industry to establish successful targeted marketing efforts.

Publications

  • Chen, R. 2004. Effect of different lipid supplements in practical diets on performance of channel catfish. Abstract. Annual Research Forum, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Masson, I., B. Southworth, N. Stone and C. Engle. 2004. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) in channel catfish ponds stocked at different densities. Abstract. Annual Research Forum, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Shreay, S. and K.K. Quagrainie. 2004. A study of catfish demand by restaurants and supermarkets. Abstract. Annual Research Forum, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Shreay, S. and K.K. Quagrainie. 2004. A study of catfish demand by supermarkets. Abstract. Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence Field Day, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Quagrainie, K., C. Engle and K. Curtis. 2004. Retail grocery market for catfish: any potential for growth? Abstract. Aquaculture/Fisheries Cener of Excellence Field Day, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Quagrainie, K., and C. Engle. 2004. Willingness to pay for catfish retail package. Abstract. Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence Field Day. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Lochmann, R.T., S. Rawles, B. Gopinath and R. Chen. 2004. Effect of different lipid supplements in practical diets on performance of channel catfish and muscle fatty acid composition. Abstract. Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence Field Day, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
Twelve 0.25-ac ponds were stocked with 5-bin fingerlings at either 3,500, 7,000, 10,500 or 14,000 fish/ac with three replicates per treatment. Fish were fed daily to apparent satiation with a 32% floating commercial catfish feed. Nitrite, nitrate, TAN, chlorophyll (a), TN, TP, CON and seech disk were monitored monthly, chlorides three times during the study, alkalinity and hardness twice, pH weekly and temperature and dissolved oxygen were measured twice daily. There was no significant difference in FCR or survival across stocking densities. Highest marketable yield was obtained at the 7,000/ac density. Net yield did not decrease with increasing mean and maximum feeding rates. TAN levels were lower and chlorophyll C higher than those reported in earlier studies. Mean weight at harvest decreased significantly as stocking density increased (p<0.05).

Impacts
Results of this study do not support capping daily feed at 100 lb/ac/d.

Publications

  • Southworth, B.E., C.R. Engle and N. Stone. 2004. The effect of catfish stocking density on water quality, production characteristics, and costs. Abstract. Arkansas Aquaculture 2004, Hot Springs, Arkansas.