A long-term goal of USSEC is the of the promotion and increase of aquaculture production using high quality feeds. The In Pond Raceway System (IPRS) is an initiative that checks both of these boxes. IPRS allows farmers to use the same water volume in ponds to produce a significantly higher yield, and the technology favors complete, high quality feeds that are well suited to feeds that utilize U.S. soy products.
In 2018, USSEC investigated trout farmers and earthen pond marine farmers in Turkey to see if the IPRS would be a good fit. USSEC consultants Skip Kemp and Dr. Jesse Chappel visited trout and marine farms together with Sirri Kayhan, USSEC Country Representative – Turkey, producing trout in different farming systems and sea bass and seabream in earthen ponds. These visits allowed USSEC to understand the needs of trout and marine farmers and their problems. As a result of these visits, USSEC found that the IPRS operating and design principles including the raceway-type structures, the blowers and white water type aeration devices, and the waste collection in the quiescent zones would be hugely beneficial to the Turkish trout and earthen pond marine producers. Problems experienced on these farms such as low dissolved oxygen, meeting government regulations on organic loading from waste and silt build-up, and disease could be addressed with IPRS.
As a result of these investigations, USSEC organized a trip for Turkish farmers to visit China to see the successful implementation of IPRS systems. Two fish integration companies and the head of the aquaculture department from the Ministry of Agriculture took part in this trip. After the trip, the farmers and government representative concluded that these concepts could be integrated successfully to Turkish aquaculture operations, which would greatly increase rainbow trout and sea bass and seabream production with concomitant increases in feeding high quality soy products, resulting in benefits for U.S. soybean farmers.
As a result of the China trip, the two Turkish fish farmers decided to start an IPRS Project on one of their farms. Dr. Chappel again visited these farmers from February 24 to 26 for the final discussion about the design and other necessary details. The farmers will start the project in early summer. If they can successfully implement the IPRS system and see the positive results, they will also install it at their other farms. IPRS should be quickly adopted at many farms after these two farmers lead installation efforts.