Greenhouses aren’t only for crops anymore. In Missouri, saltwater shrimp is being grown in a greenhouse as half of a project run by David Brune, a professor at Missouri University College of Agriculture. The aim is to develop a seafood manufacturing system that’s sustainable, scalable, and environmentally pleasant.

David Brune, a professor of agricultural programs administration within the Missouri University College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, is growing a seafood manufacturing system that’s sustainable, scalable and environmentally pleasant.

At MU’s Bradford Research Center close to Columbia, Brune is elevating saltwater shrimp in a greenhouse. The facility holds about one-twentieth an acre of water and is totally stocked with Pacific white shrimp.

Why shrimp? Brune says shrimp is a priceless product that may be produced in a brief interval.

“I can grow a crop of shrimp here every 120 days,” he says. “If I raise the equivalent of 25,000 pounds per acre of water and I can get $4 a pound, that is a $100,000 cash flow per acre of water every 120 days. That’s not soybeans.”

It prices Brune about $3 a pound to provide the shrimp, so for Missouri shrimp to be economically possible, it would price buyers a bit greater than typical grocery store shrimp. But Brune estimates many U.S. shoppers would willingly pay a premium value for domestically grown, increased high quality and sustainably produced shrimp.

“If 10 percent of American consumers would pay a premium price for shrimp, that is 120 million pounds a year,” he says. “We’re importing 1.2 billion pounds of shrimp from Asia. So if only one in 10 consumers would pay a dollar or two a pound extra, that is a $100 million market right there.”

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