The Latest

Events

  1. Texas: Feed-Grain Marketing Workshop, Amarillo, Feb. 10-11

    February 10 @ 8:00 am - March 11 @ 5:00 pm
  2. Georgia: Ag Business Planning Workshop, Glennville, Feb. 11, 18

    February 11 @ 8:00 am - February 18 @ 5:00 pm
  3. Ohio: Agronomy Workshops, Wooster, Feb. 15, 16

    February 15 @ 8:00 am - February 16 @ 8:00 am
  4. Louisiana: Irrigation Management Workshop, Marksville, Feb. 16-17

    February 16 @ 8:00 am - February 17 @ 8:00 am
  5. Tennessee: Irrigation Meeting, Somerville, Feb. 16

    February 16 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  6. Tennessee: Cotton Focus Meeting, Jackson, Feb. 18

    February 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  7. Illinois: Ag Tech Innovation Summit, Champaign, Feb. 18

    February 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  8. Texas: Oil, Gas Leasing Workshop, College Station, Feb. 22

    February 22 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  9. Georgia: Required Classroom Trainings for Auxin Herbicide Tolerant Crops

    February 22 @ 8:00 am - March 1 @ 5:00 pm
  10. Arkansas: 6 Spray Clinics in Feb, March

    February 23 @ 8:00 am - March 10 @ 5:00 pm
  11. Texas: Wild Pig Management Workshop, Burnet, Feb. 24

    February 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  12. Mississippi: Ag Waste Disposal Day, Charleston, Feb. 24

    February 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  13. Virginia: USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum, Arlington, Feb. 25-26

    February 25 @ 8:00 am - February 26 @ 5:00 pm
  14. Georgia: Pest Manager Training, Forsyth, Feb. 25

    February 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  15. Tennessee: Winter Row Crop Marketing Meeting, Mason, Feb. 25

    February 25 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  16. Louisiana: Rice Producer Meeting, Crowley, Feb. 26

    February 26 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  17. Texas: Rice Technical Working Group, Galveston, March 1-4

    March 1 @ 8:00 am - March 4 @ 8:00 am
  18. Texas: Rice Technical Working Group Conference, Galveston, March 1-4

    March 1 @ 8:00 am - March 4 @ 5:00 pm
  19. Texas: Permian Basin Cotton Conference, Big Spring, March 1

    March 1 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  20. Kentucky: IPM Training, Princeton, March 2

    March 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  21. Texas: Regional Sorghum Program, Plainview, March 3

    March 3 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  22. Indiana Small Farm Conference, Danville, March 4-5

    March 4 @ 8:00 am - March 5 @ 5:00 pm
  23. Kansas: 103rd Annual Cattlemen’s Day, Manhattan, March 4

    March 4 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  24. Kentucky: Integrated Pest Management Training, Princeton, March 2

    March 6 @ 8:00 am
  25. Oklahoma: Irrigation Conference, Woodward, March 8

    March 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  26. Oklahoma: Pecan Management Course, Stillwater, March 8

    March 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  27. Georgia: Pest Manager Training, Gainesville, March 10

    March 10 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  28. Missouri: Free Pesticide Collection Event, Portageville, March 12

    March 12 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  29. Florida: Carinata Summit, Quincy, March 15-16

    March 15 @ 8:00 am - March 16 @ 5:00 pm

 

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USDA Lending a Hand in Hybrid Catfish Production

Mike Christensen
By Sandra Avant, USDA December 9, 2013

USDA Lending a Hand in Hybrid Catfish Production

In the catfish industry, it’s well-known that hybrid catfish–a cross of the channel catfish with the blue catfish–generally have better growth, higher survival rates and better meat yield than purebred channel catfish. Although production has increased from 30 million hybrid fry in 2007 to about 150 million in 2012, these fish are not easy to breed.

Thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists, producers are getting help learning how to produce hybrids. Using hybrids instead of channel catfish could increase their production by 20 to 30 percent.

        
         

Unlike channel catfish that spawn naturally, the hybrid catfish is a cross between two species that rarely mate with each other. Hybrid fry production involves hormone-assisted reproduction. Geneticists Brian Bosworth and Nagaraj Chatakondi in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss., work with their Mississippi State University colleagues at the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center to give hands-on training to farmers who are learning about the hybrid breeding process. ARS is USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency.

In addition, ARS scientists study catfish nutrition, genetics and management practices to produce a better catfish, whether it’s channel, blue or hybrid. Research includes improving hybrid embryo production by determining the effects of the calcium content of the water on the hatching success of eggs, and developing a method to identify poor-quality eggs before they hatch.

Geoff Waldbieser, a ARS molecular biologist at Stoneville, is developing DNA markers for channel and blue catfish to determine genetic diversity, produce pedigree populations and identify markers associated with important traits like meat yield and disease resistance. Also at Stoneville, ARS physiologist Brian Peterson is investigating the relationship between gene expression, catfish growth and immune function.

While great improvement has been made in catfish breeding, one goal is to provide research to help U.S producers grappling with a slow economy, high feed costs and fish imports from foreign countries. Studies are under way to determine desirable heritable traits, improve germplasm, identify crucial water-quality factors, and develop better production systems.

Mike Christensen
By Sandra Avant, USDA December 9, 2013