The Soybean Alliance is receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study whether a feed mill where soybeans could be turned into fish feed would be profitable.
Indiana Soybean Alliance Aquaculture Director Shelia Lingle says soybeans are a good source of protein and are already grown in the state.
“Kind of the next step is seeing if we could have enough volume of fish to justify a feed mill because right now, most of our producers are having to ship their fish feeds in from Utah or Pennsylvania or down in Louisiana because that’s where the aquaculture feed mills currently are,” she says.
Lingle says it does not make sense for soybeans to be shipped off and made into fish feed only to be shipped right back into the state.
She says transportation costs are expensive and that can really cut into some producers’ budgets.
Mike Searcy started White Creek Farms of Indiana in Seymour two years ago. He says having locally produced feed would help his business expand more quickly.
“I’m not to the point yet where I really require the more economically feed prices, but within about a year to two years, that’s going to be vital to my business,” Searcy says.
The USDA grant for the feasibility study is only about $15,000 with another $15,000 matching from the Indiana Soybean Alliance.
But if the state wants to build the plant, it could then apply for another $300,000 USDA grant for construction.