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, 2019, totaled 57.9 thousand acres, down slightly from a year ago.
Acres used for foodsize fish totaled 46.3 thousand acres, down slightly from the same time period in 2018. Acres used for fingerling production are unchanged at 7.41 thousand acres, and acres for broodfish are unchanged at 1.74 thousand acres.
Of the total acres in production, 1.56 thousand were scheduled to be renovated from July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, while acres taken out of production during the January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019, period totaled 1,110 acres.
Foodsize Inventory up 6 Percent
Catfish operations in the three major producing States had 111 million foodsize fish on hand on July 1, 2019, up 6 percent from July 1, 2018. The breakouts of foodsize fish inventory numbers on July 1, 2019, with their respective percent change from the previous year were: large foodsize, 2.41 million fish, down 16 percent; medium foodsize, 31.0 million fish, down 1 percent; and small foodsize, 77.2 million fish, up 10 percent. The three major States also had 730 thousand broodfish on hand on July 1, 2019, up 34 percent from last year’s 545 thousand broodfish.
Catfish operations in the three major producing States had 296 million stockers on hand on July 1, 2019, down 8 percent from the July 1, 2018, total of 322 million stockers. The breakouts of stocker fish inventory numbers on July 1, 2019, with their respective change from the previous year were: large stockers, 149 million fish, down 18 percent; and small stockers, 147 million, up 5 percent from last year. Producers had 512 million fingerlings and fry on hand on July 1, 2019, down 5 percent from July 1, 2018.