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Mississippi catfish sales in 2016 from the state’s 150 farms totaled more than $213 million, nearly $100 million more than the nearest competing state. Catfish are shown being seined at Lee Farms in Noxubee County on March 21, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
August 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Catfish

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- This year marks Mississippi’s 200th anniversary as a state, but one of its most successful industries -- catfish farming -- is only about 60 years old.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has played a significant role in the state’s status as the top producer of catfish in the U.S. Most of the technological advances related to the industry have taken place at MSU facilities under the direction of university and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers.

Increasing aeration rates per acre is one emerging method Mississippi catfish producers are using to improve efficiency in smaller ponds. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
July 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Catfish

DODDSVILLE, Miss. -- Production is the least of Ben Pentecost's worries for his catfish farm this summer. If anything, he has too many fish.

"I think our supply is larger now than in recent years, and demand is about the same," said Pentecost, co-owner of the Pentecost Brothers catfish farm in Sunflower County. "We have a backlog of bigger-sized catfish, which processors are pushing back on, but the fish keep getting even bigger the longer they stay in the ponds."

Split-cell catfish ponds circulate oxygen-rich water from the larger lagoon through channels to the smaller side where catfish grow. On March 21, 2017, Mississippi State University Extension aquaculture specialist Mark Peterman, left, and Jeff Lee of Lee’s Catfish in Macon examined the fencing that contains fish in this Noxubee County catfish pond. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
April 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Catfish

MACON, Miss. -- Mississippi has a long history of catfish production, but recent advances in management and production are changing the way some ponds look and operate.

Catfish ponds have traditionally been rectangular, shallow and large, usually about 10 acres of water. Today, some existing ponds are split in half to make two equal-sized, intensively managed ponds. Another new approach is to use levees to split ponds into cells with fish raised in 20 percent of the area and the other 80 percent used as a lagoon that helps oxygenate water.

Dale Weaver of Noxubee County leads the grain crops discussion at the Producer Advisory Council meeting in Verona, Mississippi, on Feb. 16, 2017. Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station host the annual meeting. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
February 17, 2017 - Filed Under: Other Aquaculture Species, Crops, Livestock

VERONA, Miss. -- Mississippi State University specialists and researchers met with northeast Mississippi agricultural producers in Verona on Feb. 16 to provide updates and hear requests for future programs.

Jane Parish, newly appointed head of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, said the annual Producer Advisory Council meeting reflects the close relationship between area producers and the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

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Extension Professor & Director
Catfish Aquaculture
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Aquaculture