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University of Missouri Extension releases aquaculture resources

University of Missouri Extensions

A grant from the State helped fund research to support the industry.

The University of Missouri Extension has released a set of resources to promote successful aquaculture production in the state. Aquaculture is a niche agricultural industry focused on growing aquatic animals and plants in contained indoor and outdoor operations.

It is a small fraction of agricultural activity in Missouri. According to the Extension’s resources it brought in $12.7 million in sales in 2017, compared to $1.9 billion from the Missouri cattle industry. In Missouri It is largely focused on raising fish as stock, such as trout and bass for private ponds and lakes, not for market.

It is, however, a fast-growing segment of agriculture world-wide. A 2021 article in Nature states global aquaculture production tripled between 1997 and 2017, to 112 million tons, with Asia accounting for 92% of production in 2017.

There’s room for growth says Jacob Stoehr, with the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority. The Development Authority helped fund the Extension’s work.

Stoehr says these resources can spur that growth by providing farmers a path for success “when they’re looking at long-term trends and an outlook for the industry, when they’re looking at trying to decide what business models might be available to them, and what might fit their operation the best.” And when they are considering market opportunities

Some major challenges presented in the resources: Missouri winters which slow growth of popular aquaculture species like channel catfish, lack of processing facilities to prepare product for market; and advertising, transportation, and labor costs.

Stoehr says the Extensions resources can help prepare producers to navigate those challenges, understand what sort of operation will work for them, and point to areas of potential growth, like the processing market.

Find the Growing Missouri’s Aquaculture Industry resources at