Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced today the Texas Department of Agriculture is awarding more than $1.6 million in feed credits to 62 eligible Texas aquaculture producers.

“Aquaculture producers have been challenged with rising input costs just like other Texas producers,” Commissioner Staples said. “The Texas aquaculture industry has an estimated $171 million economic impact on the state’s economy. These grants will help producers stay afloat financially and help ensure our aquaculture industry remains a national leader.”

The 2008 Aquaculture Grant Program was authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and developed through the USDA - Commodity Credit Corporation. The program is designed to assist producers who suffered financial losses associated with high feed costs during the 2008 calendar year. Payments will be made in the form of feed credits that can be used at any participating feed supplier. Producers can use these credits until August 2010.

Funded by USDA, this program aids producers of all aquaculture species raised in a controlled environment as part of a farming operation.

For more information about the Aquaculture Grant Program, visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.