Increasing aeration rates per acre is one emerging method Mississippi catfish producers are using to improve efficiency in smaller ponds. Photo by Mississippi State University Extension Service/Kevin Hudson.
Increasing aeration rates per acre is one emerging method Mississippi catfish producers are using to improve efficiency in smaller ponds.

Steady demand, low feed costs help catfish market

Two primary factors in catfish industry success — feed cost and catfish price — leaning in favor of producers and driving some to build new ponds.

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, Miss. "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."

An increase in supply is a

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