News Filed Under Catfish
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Catfish and toads drew two British Broadcasting Corporation film crews and host to spend three days with Mississippi State University experts.
The crew was shooting an upcoming BBC documentary called Wonders of Life with host Brian Cox. It will follow Cox’s successful Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe, viewed by millions of people in the United Kingdom and around the world last year.
BILOXI – Coastal producers and growers shared their concerns and needs at a Mississippi State University listening session Feb. 28 in Biloxi.
The fifth annual Producer Advisory Council meeting was held at MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center. Eleven commodity groups attended the meeting. They represented commercial ornamental horticulture, home horticulture, fruits, vegetables, livestock, horses, cotton, corn, soybeans, peanuts, forestry, seafood and aquaculture, and bee keepers.
VERONA – Advocates for agriculture met at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona on Feb. 16 to identify priorities for research and Extension Service education programs at Mississippi State University.
Scientists from the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, specialists with the MSU Extension Service and almost 250 members of the North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council spent the day discussing current research and educational needs, as well as the challenges growers face on their farms.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The fourth annual Mississippi State University Extension Service Commodity Advisory Council meeting will be held Feb. 28 at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.
Producers of various commodities will have the opportunity to evaluate and provide direction on Extension educational programming for their products and crops.
VERONA – Mississippi State University’s North Mississippi Research and Extension Center will host its annual Producer Advisory Council meeting Feb. 16 at the Magnolia Conference Center in Verona.
This annual event is an opportunity for growers, producers, ranchers and other agricultural clients to meet with MSU scientists and Extension Service specialists to share concerns, ask questions and provide feedback about research and Extension programs.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s agricultural commodities are predicted to reach a record-high value of more than $6.7 billion for 2011.
Mississippi State University Extension Service economists compiled the numbers from poultry, forestry, agronomic crops, catfish and livestock for the annual value estimate. If government payments are factored in, the state’s value of production reaches $7 billion for the first time in history.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Catfish producers who are coping with record-high feed costs know that the strong market prices may not last much longer.
Jimmy Avery, aquaculture leader with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said years of pond acreage reductions are driving fish prices up. Unfortunately, the cost of producers’ biggest expense, feed, is also setting record highs. The end result could challenge consumers to afford this U.S. farm-raised product.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – They may be living up to their name in size, but Gulf shrimp are being landed in Mississippi in good numbers, and large ones are selling for high prices.
The state’s shrimp season opened May 25, which was about a week earlier than normal. Dave Burrage, marine resources specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the early opening was due to Mississippi River flooding.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
BILOXI – The oyster industry is bracing for extreme losses as freshwater from the Mississippi River flows into the western portion of the Mississippi Sound.
“Oysters are stationary and cannot escape as the freshwater displaces the salt water they need,” said Dave Burrage, professor of marine resources with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Oysters just cannot survive long periods of freshwater, so we are expecting significant mortality, maybe even 100 percent.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE – With all eyes focused on the Mississippi River’s epic floodwaters, catfish producers contemplate its potential impact on their already stressed industry.
Jimmy Avery, aquaculture leader with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said if the river crests as high as predicted, several catfish farms in the south Delta, particularly those in Sharkey, Issaquena and Yazoo counties may be affected.
VERONA – Almost 300 producers of row crops, livestock and other agricultural products met at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona to discuss services they need from Mississippi State University.
The Feb. 17 event helps give programming and research direction to the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish research at Mississippi State University is no surprise given that Mississippi leads the nation in catfish production, but the potential applications of that research through the College of Veterinary Medicine’s fish hatchery are another story.
As the state’s land-grant university, MSU conducts research that benefits this valuable aquaculture industry and consumers. While some of that research can take place in farm ponds, other studies require fish with known health histories.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi farmers are finding out not only what a difference a year makes, but also what a difference a decade makes.
Agricultural economists with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service predict a record $6.9 billion production value for the state’s farm enterprises. The figure represents a 19 percent increase, or $1.09 billion, from 2009’s disastrous bottom line. After adjusting for inflation of agricultural prices, it is 45 percent, or $1.55 billion, better than in the year 2000. The previous record of $6.4 billion was set in 2005.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish farmers have until Sept. 23 to enroll in a recently approved governmental program to earn educational benefits and cash incentives.
Catfish farmers have struggled as the cost of production, the national economy and competition from foreign products have each taken a toll, pushing Mississippi acreage to its lowest levels in 30 years. In an effort to help farmers continue producing quality fish and remain competitive in the world market, the U.S. Department of Agriculture certified a Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers program on June 25.
By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications
BILOXI – Shrimp landings may be way below average this season, but the quality of Gulf shrimp is still good.
Shrimping began on time when state waters opened on June 3. Because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, partial closures were implemented beginning on June 8. By July 1, state waters had completely closed.
STONEVILLE -- The state’s catfish industry -- battling high feed costs, low prices and foreign competition -- is seeing many acres come out of production as producers fight to remain profitable.
In 2009, 15,000 acres of ponds went out of catfish production, and more are expected to leave production this year. Mississippi continues to lead the nation in catfish production and acreage, but the state’s current 65,000 acres is 43 percent short of its peak of 113,000 acres in 2002.
STONEVILLE -- Owners of retired catfish ponds and current catfish pond owners looking to reduce their pond acreage can benefit from a June 16 workshop that explores ways to develop former aquaculture ponds into natural resource enterprises.
VERONA – Almost 300 producers of agricultural products ranging from goats to sweet potatoes met at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona Feb. 18 to discuss services they need from Mississippi State University.
Each year since 1953, North Mississippi agricultural producers have come together to discuss their research and educational needs. They then report those needs to Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station administrators.
By Rebekah Ray
Delta Research and Extension Center
STONEVILLE -- Mississippi produces more than 60 percent of the nation’s pond-raised catfish, and Mississippi State University researchers in the Delta are working to keep the fish flavorful and safe to eat.
MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine oversees the Aquatic Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center. The center is located at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The best way to battle a pathogen affecting the state’s catfish industry is to know as much about it as possible, and Mississippi State University researchers took a major step in that direction this summer.
Researchers at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine released the genome sequence of Edwardsiella ictaluri 93-146, the most important pathogen affecting the state’s channel catfish aquaculture industry. Dr. Mark Lawrence, a CVM professor of basic sciences, was the lead investigator of the project, which was completed this summer.