Soy inclusion in salmon rations is a challenge

There are challenges when it comes to producing soy products for farmed salmon.  Alan Cook, vice president of aquaculture for Icicle Seafoods says that company’s salmon rations have changed.

“We have used, historically, soybean concentrates, and those are quite good as a feed ingredient,” Cook told Brownfield Ag News, during a tour of the company’s salmon farm on Puget Sound about an hour boat ride from Seattle, Washington.  “The challenge we have with those products is they’re quite expensive compared the animal byproducts that we’re able to use.”

Nutritionally, salmon don’t do well on soybean meal, but Cook says there may be a market opportunity for soybean protein concentrates.

“Salmon are fairly intolerant of some carbohydrates and some other things that can be part of just general soybean meals,” said Cook.  “One of the opportunities for soy producers is a more cost-effective soybean concentrate that would be competitive with the animal protein byproducts.”

If soy protein concentrate costs come into line making possible their inclusion in salmon rations, Cook says farmed salmon would make a great market.

“It’s a very sustainable use of seaside real estate,” said Cook, “and could be, if the industry is allowed to grow and thrive, could be a huge market for soybean concentrates and other soy products.”

Cook spoke to Brownfield after giving a tour of a Puget Sound salmon farm to South Dakota soybean growers.

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