Catfish Aquaculture Production, Farm-gate Values and Prices and Economic Contributions

Catfish Production  

Catfish farmers produced an average of 343 million pounds of food fish per year during the past decade. The annual production fluctuated from the mean by 46 million pounds per year, indicating covariation by 13 percent. Mississippi is the largest catfish-producing state accounting for 54 percent of total food fish production. The average productivity of catfish farms had been remarkably rising during the past decade. Catfish farmers adopted improved production technology and pond management practices. Mississippi catfish farms' productivity rose to 5,700 pounds per acre in 2021 from 4,000 pounds per acre in 2010.

  • Posadas, Benedict C. 2020. U.S. Catfish Production, Farm-gate, and Wholesale Prices, and ImportsMississippi MarketMaker Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 8.  
  • Posadas, Benedict C. 2020. Economic Impacts of Covid-19 on Catfish Production, Farm-Gate Values, Farm-Gate and Wholesale Prices, and Imports. Horticulture and Marine Economics Outreach. Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center, Biloxi, Mississippi. On YouTube. 

Source of raw data: USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service.   

Catfish farming added an average of 54 percent of total U.S. aquaculture production since 2010. However, the average contribution to total U.S. aquaculture farm-gate values averaged 26 percent during the past decade. 

Catfish Farm-gate Values  

The annual food size catfish sales averaged $355 million since 2010. Mississippi sold 54 percent of total farm-gate sales. The average farm-gate sales of food fish catfish rose during the past decade. Mississippi catfish farms' average farm-gate sales rose from $3,100 in 2010 to $7,100 per water acre in 2020.  

Catfish foodfish farm-gate prices fluctuated from $0.78 per pound in 2010 to $1.23 per pound in 2021. The farm-gate price averaged $1.05 per pound since 2010. The standard deviation was $0.10 per pound with the coefficient of covariation was 10 percent. 

Source of raw data: USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service.   

Source of raw data: USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Economic Contributions

The annual sales of commercial production of catfish in the United States in 2016 reached $386 million, which is 7.2% higher than the average annual sales during the last five years. The total economic contribution of commercial catfish production in the United States in 2016 amounted to $871.1 million. Commercial catfish production created 8,004 jobs and generated labor income amounting to $211 million in the United States economy.

Commercial catfish production generates annual tax revenues for the producing states and the U.S. federal government. A total of $50.4 million were estimated to have been paid by households and businesses in 2016 to the federal government as social insurance tax, tax on production and imports, corporate profit tax, and personal income tax. The producing states were expected to have collected taxes from households and businesses in 2016 amounting to $16 million as social insurance tax, tax on production and imports, corporate profits tax, and personal tax. 

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Catfish Farmers of America