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Updated Fishy software supports catfish industry
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Catfish producers have an updated tool to help them remain afloat in financial hard times.
Fishy 2002 is the latest version of computer software developed in 1982 at Mississippi State University to aid the aquaculture industry. Wallace Killcreas, Fishy programmer and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station agricultural economist, said the program aids management and decision-making.
"Adequate records and up-to-date management tools are essential in any agricultural operation in good and bad times," Killcreas said. "Good records are a necessity for income tax preparation, for making decisions on whom to do business with and in deciding how to best manage future production."
Fishy 2002, like its predecessors, keeps records of all aspects of fish production, and analyzes and makes reports that allow farmers to track fish numbers, feedings, weights and sizes.
Fishy supports historical and simulated information with pre-programmed background data. Producers enter historical data such as feed given, fingerlings stocked and fish moved. Simulated data is such future aspects as harvest schedules and potential fish production. Background data includes feed conversion ratios and feeding calendars.
Killcreas is urging catfish farmers not yet using the free software to begin before the production season gets underway this year.
"Fishy can be used to book your feed for next year," Killcreas said. "Feed needed, coupled with current feed price, can be used to aid in obtaining a line of credit this year."
The current version provides simple screens to allow user to enter data for fixed costs such as land and equipment and annual operating expenses. These data are combined with Fishy simulated data to estimate future profitability of the fish farm.
Farmers can use Fishy to schedule future harvests if they enter current data on each pond. This allows producers to know which pond to harvest next if a particular pond cannot be harvested.
"By diligently entering data such as feed fed, fish stocked, fish lost, fish moved and fish harvested every week, Fishy will accumulate records and give you reports from your farm that will help you plan for next year," Killcreas said.
Fishy's chronological pond report can provide detailed information on all of a particular pond's events. If a pond is a poor producer, the farmer can review the pond report and possibly develop new management strategies to improve it.
"Since feed is still nearly 50 percent of fish production cost, Fishy provides for close feed scrutiny," Killcreas said.
One of Fishy's more popular features is its cost. It can be downloaded free from MSU at www.agecon.msstate.edu/wek or producers can call (662) 325-2672 to request a copy be sent to them on CD.
Contact: Dr. Wallace Killcreas, (662) 325-2672