Farmers in China are using soybean meal at an ever-increasing rate for their own livestock — fish.

Jim Zhang, program manager for American Soybean Association's (ASA) aquaculture program, says Asian fish producers are using processed feeds such as soybean meal more and more.

China's total soybean meal consumption for aquaculture will grow from 4.5 million metric tons (MMT) per year to approximately 7 MMT by 2008. That's why the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board, ASA and the United Soybean Board have invested checkoff dollars to continue cultivating this growth and market potential.

China is expected to ban small fresh fish used as feed within five years, forcing caged fish producers to find an alternative feed source. One alternative is going to be soybean meal, Zhang says.