The number of aquaponics producers in the U.S. has continued to grow; yet, there is a lack of high-quality, publishable scientific information on commercial aquaponics production. Such information is needed to provide guidance to those seeking to move to full-time aquaponics production, to lenders when reviewing loan applications, and to policymakers who do not fully understand aquaponics production. Most available information originates from laboratories or farms associated with universities -- not real, working commercial farms -- and the economics, especially, of such systems are not equivalent to what happens on actual farms and in greenhouses across the country.

The Recirculating Farms Coalition has asked us to conduct a study on the economic feasibility of commercial recirculating aquaponics systems in the mainland U.S. We plan to develop a comprehensive economic feasibility analysis of various types of aquaponics systems in various regions of the U.S., as well as publish online a manual that summarizes current practices of commercial aquaponics systems, along with corresponding economic models. Our hope is that this information will decrease the timeline between startup and profit by offering existing knowledge in an open-source format.

Your participation is essential to the success of this project. Your individual business information will be maintained in an entirely confidential manner. The models created will be developed in a way that will not reveal any individual farm’s confidential information.

The survey is open to all U.S. aquaponics producers; please limit one survey response per business/organization. The survey should take only about 15 minutes of your time.

The survey will be accessible online from August 18 to September 30 at the following web address: https://virginiatech.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9N5GMLMjDAM7lvT.

Should you have any questions or if you would like additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us (jvansenten@vt.edu).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Michael H. Schwarz

Carole R. Engle

Jonathan van Senten

Christopher Mullins