Aquaculture – Feeding Shrimp in Minnesota
AURI Staff Column: Seeing Around Corners
By Alan Doering, Senior Associate Scientist-Coproducts
Can landlocked states enjoy fresh, sustainable seafood like the coasts? Minnesota has been exploring options for aquaculture shrimp farms, located within the state, to meet this growing demand. Thanks to improvements in the efficiency of raising shrimp, landlocked production could become a commercial reality. We may soon be giving fishing enthusiasts the option to catch their dinner in a heated tank versus braving the ice house.
Farm-raised shrimp are traditionally fed fishmeal which is no longer a low cost product. The demand for fish has necessitated governments to enforce wild fishing quotas, which drives up the price of fishmeal and fish oil. Minnesota-grown commodities can make commercial fish production more affordable by replacing a portion of the fishmeal in a shrimp diet. Using dried distillers grains with solubles, corn gluten meal or specialty soybean meal, shrimp becomes less expensive to feed.
Shrimp producers no longer have to import expensive fish feed either. New technologies enable local manufacturers to produce very small pellets of plant-based proteins, allowing Minnesota to become a prime marketing for aquaculture shrimp production.
The Minnesota farming community acknowledges that many components of shrimp production benefit the state. Shrimp tanks use less land than other livestock and even take up less room than other aquaculture tanks. The largest expenses of raising shrimp have been feed. This is where AURI is working to develop Minnesota grown commodities as fishmeal replacements as well as to provide alternative options to heat the aquaculture tanks. The adoption of biomass heating technologies could be another use for Minnesota grown crops for this second need.
Moisture content is an ongoing issue in agriculture. Many wet biomass feedstocks generally have low value due to the high cost of thermally removing water to utilize the biomass. AURI works with a variety of these biomass feedstocks that contain high moisture contents such as digester solids, food processing waste, and even a variety of crop residues.
AURI client Clean Plus, Inc. (CPI), a West Concord, Minnesota, company that has been in operation since 1982 and boasts about a dozen employees competes for 2018 World Bio Markets Biobased Product of the Year. CPI has several divisions that produce and distribute a variety of products, including Drip Trap® Granules, which are made from corn stalks and are used to contain and clean up spills such as chemicals, oil and fuel.
It has taken a lot of work, dedicated hours and collaborations to advance AURI’s programs and resources from its creation in 1989 to where it is today, but the investment of time, effort and resources is paying off. AURI is experiencing an explosion of innovative agricultural opportunities, especially in the focus areas of food, coproducts […]
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