Foodfish Inventory Numbers Down 9 Percent from a Year Ago
Catfish operations in the three major producing States (Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi) had 241 million foodsize fish on hand on July 1, 2009, down 9 percent from the July 1, 2008 total of 265 million foodsize fish. The breakouts of foodsize fish inventory numbers on July 1, 2009, with their respective percent change from the previous year were: large foodsize, 6.58 million fish, up 3 percent; medium foodsize, 59.3 million fish, down 16 percent; and small foodsize, 175 million fish, down 7 percent.
The three major States also had 529 thousand broodfish on hand on July 1, 2009, down 19 percent from last year's 655 thousand broodfish.
The number of large stockers on hand on July 1, 2009, totaled 231 million fish, down 21 percent from the 293 million fish on hand a year ago. There were 216 million small stockers, down 25 percent from last year. Producers had 877 million fingerlings and fry on hand on July 1, 2009
Water Acres Down 15 Percent
The water surface area to be used for catfish production during July 1 through December 31, 2009, totaled 112 thousand acres, down 15 percent from a year ago. Acres used for foodsize fish totaled 92.5 thousand acres, down 15 percent from the same time period in 2008. Acres for broodfish decreased 5 percent to 2.41 thousand acres, and acres used for fingerling production decreased 19 percent to 14.5 thousand acres. Acres taken out of production during the January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009 period totaled 11.4 thousand acres, while 3.09 thousand acres of the total in production were scheduled to be renovated from July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. The number of operations on July 1, 2009 in the three major States totaled 613, down 22 percent from last year's total of 788 operations.
Released July 24, 2009, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture. For information on "Catfish Production" call Chris Hawthorn at (202) 720-0585, office hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.