Producers who are ready to harvest their first crop of fish, often ask, “Where will I sell them?” It is surprising how many producers ask this question so late in the production cycle. To avoid certain failure of an aquaculture enterprise, producers must seriously investigate the marketplace as an initial step before investing in production. Midwestern farmers in traditional farming enterprises, such as corn, soybeans, beef, swine, and poultry, use well-established markets that have been highly refined over the last few decades. For example, go to any rural town, regardless of its size, and you’ll likely find a grain elevator or stockyard where buyers or outlets for products are available almost daily. Aquaculture, unlike other agriculture enterprises, is in its infancy, especially in the Midwest. Large-scale processing plants solely for aquaculture products are nonexistent in this region. As a result, fish and crayfish farmers are forced to use niche markets for their products.
Iowa State University