NMSU cotton research program introduces shrimp production to New Mexico
Researchers from New Mexico State University are proving that cotton can be used for more than fabric. They are currently using cottonseed, the byproduct of cotton, for human consumption and for aquaculture feed. By finding new uses for cottonseed, it will increase the profitability of cotton. “When cotton is running 60, 70, maybe 80 cents a pound for the lint, and if you can add a buck a pound or $2 per pound for the seed, then we’ve significantly increased the value of cotton production,” said Tracey Carrillo, assistant director of NMSU campus farm operations. The researchers are conducting a study in which they use the cottonseed as an aquaculture feed for shrimp, as opposed to fishmeal. “Commercial aquaculture feeds contain fishmeal, so they’re not as sustainable as a plant-based protein, because they’re basically taking fish from the ocean and making a meal out of that, and then feeding it to another fish,” Carrillo said.