Exploring hemp as an alternative ingredient in animal feed is already underway. You’ll see studies related to cows and other farm animals. This versatile plant has a lot of potential in this area, so it’s no surprise researchers out there are considering taking it a step further. They’re beginning to ask themselves…. Can hemp also feed fish? The answer lies in aquaculture.
What is aquaculture?
Aquaculture sounds exactly like what it is — farming with fish. Instead of agriculture, which includes farming on land, aquaculture makes you a water-based farmer.
Aquaculture includes the controlled cultivation of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, algae, and even aquatic plants. Not all creatures within aquaculture need food from outside the ocean. However, there is a need for aqua feed.
Aquaculture is important because it provides a sustainable source of food. It can also help restore threatened or endangered species to a specific environment. Because it’s a sustainable way to put fish on your dinner plate, making sure they’re fed right, and that feed is affordable, is important.
That’s where hemp may come into play.
How important is aqua feed on the hemp agenda?
Looking at how funding rolls down to specific hemp initiatives can help shed light on whether a particular use for the plant is gaining traction.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded grants in many areas related to agriculture over the last year. This includes funding a look into hemp as an ingredient in aquaculture feed. Central State University, in Ohio, received $10 million to explore this potential use for hemp.
The study wants to address food safety concerns related to consuming seafood raised with hemp feed additives. It will also look at its viability as an ingredient in aqua feed.
The three key goals of the study are to:
- Show that hemp grain is a sustainable feed ingredient that can produce high-value, nutrient-dense fish.
- Educate consumers and producers about hemp feed to expand domestic markets for both the plant and specific fish.
- Help create a more diverse workforce in agriculture.
This study will help drive more exploration into hemp as an additive in animal feed. It broadens the research, which up until now has mainly focused on cows.
Where does hemp’s future lay?
The great thing about hemp is it has so many different avenues where it can possibly make a positive change. Beyond what consumers buy on store shelves, this amazing plant could improve the way we feed our animals, feed ourselves, make fabric, and even build buildings.
Staying on top of every avenue of potential hemp has is an important part of finding success in the industry. You have to know where the hemp needs to go, and in what format, to take advantage of all its possibilities. Arbor Vita8 understands this need, and works hard to stay on the pulse of every new development. From there, we’re able to work directly with farmers and manufacturers to make the best possible choices for their own business. Contact us today to learn more.