March 1, 2005
Catch of the day: Purdue workshop examines prawn production
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A southern Illinois farmer produces two crops in a single season on the same land. And while that may not be out of the ordinary, what makes Bob Boyd's double crop so unusual is what he produces - fish and shrimp.
Boyd, who operates Bob's Shrimp and Trout Farm in Cobden, Ill., will share his experiences and expertise on the shrimp side of the business during a workshop sponsored by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.
The Freshwater Prawn Workshop will take place March 11-13 at the Hampton Inn & Suites, located on Ind. 56 just east of Interstate 65 in Scottsburg, Ind. The event is open to producers and others interested in the aquaculture industry.
Prawn production is growing, as more farmers move into specialty and value-added agriculture, said Tom Springstun, a Purdue Extension Scott County educator and the workshop coordinator.
"Some chefs who have used freshwater prawn like it better than the shrimp that's caught in the ocean," Springstun said.
Boyd will discuss all areas of prawn production, including getting started, pond construction, stocking, feeding programs, harvesting and marketing, Springstun said. Boyd also will address double-crop options in an aquaculture operation. Double cropping is a term usually associated with planting soybeans on the same land that just produced winter wheat.
"Bob is utilizing double cropping in his ponds," Springstun said. "He's raising trout in the winter months and prawns in the summer, with harvest in the fall. He'll then let his ponds sit idle for about a week, fill them back up with water and put in trout."
Raising prawn is not as simple as stocking a farm pond with juvenile shrimp, Springstun said. At most freshwater prawn farms, producers raise the shrimp in special ponds.
"Whenever you harvest prawn you need to drain the pond," Springstun said. "Most farm ponds are not designed to drain and wouldn't work as well as a new pond constructed for that kind of operation. Bob Boyd uses an external catch basin so that when all the water comes out, the prawn come out with it. They scoop them up in the catch basin."
The prawn workshop runs from 1-5 p.m. on March 11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 12 and 8 a.m. to noon on March 13.
Registration is $80 for first-time prawn workshop participants and $40 for those who attended a similar workshop at Seymour, Ind., in March 2004. There is no registration charge for spouses or another person from the same address. A second person from the same farm or business can register for $40. Registration fees include workshop sessions and materials. Meals and hotel accommodations are separate.
Advance registration is required by March 8.
To register or for more information, contact Springstun at (812) 752-8450, email@example.com.
Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Tom Springstun, (812) 752-8450, email@example.com
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