After years of strategic planning and vision, a new market was recently explored that shows potential to bring producers more value for their sorghum crop in aquaculture markets.
The Sorghum Checkoff and U.S. Grains Council recently supported a feeding trial with catfish in Southeast Asia. The results showed sorghum can be successfully substituted for cassava, a common feed ingredient in aquaculture. The results of the study offer the potential for sorghum use in aquaculture nutrition programs and create a new market opportunity for U.S. producers. Read the U.S. Grains Council’s article here.
Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. agriculture industry and is rising in popularity globally in countries like China, which represents nearly 70% of global fish and shellfish production. With the expanding aquaculture industry, there is an accelerated interest in discovering plant-based dietary sources like sorghum. Sorghum has many applications in the aquaculture industry as dried distillers grains, sorghum mill feed, extruded and steam pellets and more. In fact, sorghum DDGs have demonstrated acceptable inclusion rates up to 30% in channel catfish studies and up to 40% in shrimp feed studies. Sorghum grain has also demonstrated its ability to serve as an acceptable plant-based energy source due to its high starch content and low anti-nutritional fiber levels. A current study is investigating microbial-based processes to increase protein content and digestibility of sorghum mill feed on yellow perch. Ongoing research is helping to discover sorghum as a cost-effective protein source for the aquaculture industry. Additional aquaculture research results and a Sorghum Checkoff Aquaculture Feeding Guide will be available in the future.