Water Surface Acres up 4 Percent
The water surface area to be used for catfish production in the three major producing States (Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi) during July 1 through December 31, 2018, totaled 56.2 thousand acres, up 4 percent from a year ago.
Acres used for foodsize fish totaled 44.6 thousand acres, up 1 percent from the same time period in 2017. Acres used for fingerling production are up 6 percent to 7.41 thousand acres, and acres for broodfish are down 1 percent to 1.74 thousand acres.
Of the total acres in production, 3.18 thousand were scheduled to be renovated from July 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, while acres taken out of production during the January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2018, period totaled 455 acres.
Foodsize Inventory up 1 Percent
Catfish operations in the three major producing States had 104 million foodsize fish on hand on July 1, 2018, up 1 percent from July 1, 2017. The breakouts of foodsize fish inventory numbers on July 1, 2018, with their respective percent change from the previous year were:
- large foodsize, 2.86 million fish, up 19 percent;
- medium foodsize, 31.4 million fish, up 11 percent; and
- small foodsize, 70.1 million fish, down 4 percent.
The three major States also had 545 thousand broodfish on hand on July 1, 2018, up 22 percent from last year’s 445 thousand broodfish.
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Catfish operations in the three major producing States had 322 million stockers on hand on July 1, 2018, up 10 percent from the July 1, 2017, total of 293 million stockers. The breakouts of stocker fish inventory numbers on July 1, 2018, with their respective change from the previous year were: large stockers, 181 million fish, up 29 percent; and small stockers, 141 million, down 8 percent from last year.
Producers had 540 million fingerlings and fry on hand on July 1, 2018, up 1 percent from July 1, 2017.