Cottonseed offers potential as cheaper aquaculture feed source
Whilst typical fishmeal used for farm-raised shrimp costs around USD 2,500 per metric tonne, cottonseed at USD 300 per metric tonne could be a cost-saving alternative, if productivity measures up.
Tracey Carillo owner of New Mexico Shrimp Company, based in Las Cruces, NM, is successfully growing shrimp from near microscopic size to jumbos, on a diet based largely on cottonseed.
Carrillo, who is also assistant director and senior program manager for the New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station, has 20+ years of experience in cotton, and is currently working with a Cotton Incorporated research project examining the potential for increasing the value of cottonseed.
“Why not use cottonseed as fish food? It has been of little value and most cottonseed from this area goes to dairies as crushed feed,” he advised.
Use for shrimp has been limited because of gossypol, a toxic material in cottonseed that has been the focus of research for the past 40 years. However, Carrillo believes the time is right to introduce it more widely into the aquaculture field and find that his customers love his own product.
“We usually sell out in a few hours!” he said.
Source: Ron Smith, Southwest Farm Press. Read the full article here.