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April 22, 2014

Thailand

Jerry Pixley’s Story

 

Hi Bob, I’m Jerry Pixley, an American, and I’ve owned a small shrimp farm (JR Pixley Co., Ltd.) in Thailand for 13 years—but right now I’m harvesting my last crop.

 

In the beginning, I got good crops with giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and then switched to white shrimp (P. vannamei) a couple of years after that and got even better crops—until a couple of years ago, when early mortality syndrome hit my farm, so I switched some ponds back to tigers for my last crop.

 

With five of those ponds, I produced 31-to-38-count tiger shrimp per kilo in a 110-to-125-day growout period with yields of six metric tons per hectare.  Nothing to brag about there, but with the way things are going in Thailand today, not too shabby either.  My white shrimp crop was just okay; four out of six ponds produced seven to eight tons per hectare of small, 10-to-13-gram animals.  At three weeks, I lost two ponds to EMS.  The tigers saved my butt.  Now I have two ponds of tigers and one pond of whites left to harvest.

 

One of the last tiger ponds is stocked with Charoen Pokphand Foods stock, and those shrimp are growing amazingly fast, but the best thing about them is that after 78 days of growout, they are all about the same size at 60-count per kilo.  The pond stocked with Moana Technologies animals is also doing quite well, 55-count animals at 90 days, but with a wider range of sizes.  I also have one pond of whites that has been stocked for thirty days.  I will harvest it within the next 50 days.

 

The company has been sold, and I will be packing it in in June 2014.  It will be a bittersweet departure because I have been here many years doing what I love.  I’m not leaving Thailand because of the EMS situation.  I love solving problems.  For the last two years I have been working with probiotics and enzymes and different types of Bacillus (a genus of gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria) to improve my crops.  This final crop has shown me that it can be done.  By raising both whites and tigers, you can still make good money here. I love Thailand; I’m leaving for personal reasons.

 

I hope I can continue farming shrimp in the United States.  My plan is to move back to the USA and try my hand at raising shrimp in low salinity water in Alabama.  I think my experience over the last 13 years in Thailand will be advantageous in this new venture.  I would greatly appreciate any advise or help I can get.  I was a very hands on manager here in Thailand, doing the stocking and harvesting and daily water quality and feeding-tray checks.

 

I love shrimp farming and have picked up tons of information on how to do it right.  Now I want to try it in the United States.

 

Information: Jerry Pixley (jrp@loxinfo.co.th).

 

Source: Emails to Shrimp News International from Jerry Pixley.  Subject: Leaving Thailand.  April 19 and 20, 2014.

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