Mississippi aquaculture producers who were adversely affected by high feed costs in 2008, will be able to qualify for assistance under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce has been designated by USDA to disburse the Aquaculture Grant Program, which will provide assistance funding to eligible aquaculture producers who were adversely affected by historically high feed cost.

“Due to the significant cost of feed across Mississippi in 2008 for all species of aquaculture production, USDA has granted the state of Mississippi assistance for aquaculture producers through ARRA to help offset record feed costs and maintain stability to a major Mississippi industry,” said Lester Spell, Mississippi’s commissioner of agriculture and commerce.

All statewide aquaculture producers will be eligible for the Aquaculture Grant Program. Applications will be available through local feed mill providers, their local county FSA office, Mississippi State Extension Offices, and on the MDAC Web site.

Producers participating in the program must have their applications post-dated no later than July 10, 2009, to MDAC. Those producers having questions concerning the program should contact the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce at (601) 359-1100.