Algae has traditionally been a nuisance to catfish farmers, but it could end up being a new source of income for them and a new source of energy for the southeast.
Ron Putt, an associate research professor at Auburn University, has been studying the feasibility of using algae from catfish farms for biodiesel production. “Currently I have a small project that is going to demonstrate the ability to harvest algae from the catfish ponds in the western part of Alabama,” Putt says. “I see them as the core of the algae farming industry throughout the southeast. My goal is to turn the southeast conference into the new OPEC.”
He says catfish farmers have embraced the idea that believes could help the catfish industry which has been struggling with lower priced imports and high feed costs.