Agriculture sometimes brings to thoughts corn, soybeans and cattle. But research at the University of Missouri might make seafood a serious money crop in the Show-Me State. David Brune, a professor of agricultural programs management in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, is developing a seafood manufacturing system that is sustainable, scalable and environmentally pleasant.
Learn To Know More About Agriculture Of Shrimp Farm
At MU’s Bradford Research Center close to Columbia, Brune is raising saltwater shrimp in a greenhouse. The ability holds about one-twentieth an acre of water and is totally stocked with Pacific white shrimp.
Why shrimp? Brune says shrimp is a valuable product that may be produced in a short period.
“I can grow a crop of shrimp here each one hundred twenty days,” he says. “If I elevate the equal of 25,000 pounds per acre of water and i can get $four a pound, that may be a $100,000 money stream per acre of water every 120 days. That’s not soybeans.”
It costs Brune about $three a pound to supply the shrimp, so for Missouri shrimp to be economically possible, it will cost buyers a bit greater than typical supermarket shrimp. But Brune estimates many U.S. customers would willingly pay a premium price for regionally grown, higher quality and sustainably produced shrimp.
“If 10 p.c of American customers would pay a premium value for shrimp, that is a hundred and twenty million pounds a 12 months,” he says. “We’re importing 1.2 billion pounds of shrimp from Asia. So if only one in 10 shoppers would pay a greenback or two a pound additional, that may be a $a hundred million market right there.”
Brune, who can also be an MU Extension specialist, says seafood eaten today is completely unsustainable. Expanding or even merely sustaining the seafood business would require aquaculture.
“We’re overfishing the world’s oceans in nearly every species,” he says. “Nearly the entire aquaculture that is being done internationally is itself unsustainable. Most shrimp are grown in China, Indonesia and Thailand, where producers feed wild-caught fish meal and are discharging waste from their ponds into Asian coastal waters.”
The system that Brune has developed uses algae to regulate water quality by providing oxygen and eradicating carbon dioxide and ammonia. Paddle wheels keep the water transferring for greater photosynthesis of the algae. That productiveness makes it possible to take care of water quality while stocking shrimp at a excessive density.
“You can’t keep growing algae forever in a closed system, so we harvest the algae using brine shrimp,” Brune says.
There are finally 4 byproducts of harvested algae: feed, gas, methane and fertilizer. The brine shrimp mass can be utilized as a fish meal replacement to feed the Pacific white shrimp. About 20 p.c of brine shrimp is oil that may easily be harvested and transformed into a liquid gas. Waste products from the brine shrimp can go into a digester to supply methane to energy the bodily system, and the effluent that comes off the digester will include high ranges of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can be utilized as fertilizer.
“We know that we will develop shrimp and supply seafood in a sustainable method, in an environmentally compatible method, in a way that has zero discharge,” Brune says. “That doesn’t imply something to anybody except we do it price effectively. So after I make this a technical success, I’ve bought to make it so farmers can afford to do that and make a dwelling at it.