Cold Weather Aquaponics

Aquaponics Investment

41 posts in this topic

I would be leary of investing. However the following I would jump on if I had the funds.

Proposed demo aquaculture and aquaponics farm at the below location. Guaranteed income regardlees of profit from the fish and plants on site. This due to a portion of the proceeds from hundreds of thousands of visitors gate fees each year. Reastaurant on site already proposes to buy production. Also site of the building has been donated bt Fair Oaks.

If i had the money I'd invest in the above. Don't know of any farms where you're guaranteed income.

Contact Rob Wibbeler of the Indiana Aquaculture Associate if anyone wants more info.

http://fofarms.com/

http://www.indianaaquaculture.com/

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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Fascinating!

 

Is there anywhere I could read about their aquaculture demo, or their guaranteed investment return?  If not, how did you find out?

 

We've got a new aquaculture farm / restaurant near my house too.  You can catch your own fish and they'll cook them for you.  Or buy smoked fillets to go.  Very good food, and it's owned by a guy with half-a-dozen successful start-ups under his belt.

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Fascinating!

 

Is there anywhere I could read about their aquaculture demo, or their guaranteed investment return?  If not, how did you find out?

 

We've got a new aquaculture farm / restaurant near my house too.  You can catch your own fish and they'll cook them for you.  Or buy smoked fillets to go.  Very good food, and it's owned by a guy with half-a-dozen successful start-ups under his belt.

 

 

I was president of a nonprofit, the Indiana Aquaculture Association that promoted it. Rob Wibbeler is the designated project manager, and I appointed a committee before I left. Not sure what the status is at this point.

 

He has a presentation and info packet. His email address is:

 

rwibbeler@sbcglobal.net

 

(317) 417-0090

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To bad I am not in or close to Indiana or I would contact him.  Tourist Aquaponics!

 

But on another note I contacted ML Aquaponics in Montreal, Canada to discuss with him opportunities for a franchise or consulting engagement with the caveat that I wanted to be able to do about 2000 heads per week rather than the 5000 he his system does.  Marc got back to me and indicated that even his system was too small at 5000/week and needed to be 2-3 times larger to achieve economies of scale and commercial profitability.  They are in the process of expanding and I hope all goes well.  That being said his 5000/wk operation was referenced to cost about $450k.  So $100k would not really get you very far than a small scale family farm operation that would have to be supplemented with other farm income, I know this from experience.

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 Marc got back to me and indicated that even his system was too small at 5000/week and needed to be 2-3 times larger to achieve economies of scale and commercial profitability. 

 

 

That being said his 5000/wk operation was referenced to cost about $450k.  .

 

From the horse's mouth... that's the best advice on a proposed $100,000 investment you could probably get :rock:

 

I sometimes wonder why so many people just refuse to accept suggestions as to scale

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)
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I sometimes wonder why so many people just refuse to accept suggestions as to scale

 

I think your suggestions for scale make perfect sense.  Seems like you can make a few extra bucks on the side at the market from a small system, but then as you scale up you become unprofitable till you get real big.  

 

For reference, 15000 heads of lettuce per week.  What's that - like 2 acres?

 

So $100k would not really get you very far than a small scale family farm operation that would have to be supplemented with other farm income, I know this from experience.

 

Makes sense to me.  But that might get you a share in a larger organization.

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Here's the website of the company who offers the system that Fair Oaks is using.  Founder is Glen Barber.  Anyone have experience with him or with this setup?

 

I verified that he's looking to expand and looking for investors.  We're going to talk more this afternoon.

Edited by Cold Weather Aquaponics (see edit history)

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Hi,

 

I sometimes wonder why so many people just refuse to accept suggestions as to scale

 

Perhaps it's because they are so often lacking in qualification.  I think that you're largely right if the business is going to be based purely on fish and vegetables but a more diverse integrated aquaculture operation would have a much better outlook.....in my view.

 

 

Gary

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Hi Jeremiah,

 

I verified that he's looking to expand and looking for investors.  We're going to talk more this afternoon.

 

 

My first question of him would be....."what is about the system that is patent-pending?"  It looks like a pretty straightforward aquaponics system and I'd be interested to know what is patentable about it.

 

If your visit has to do with your investor friend, my advice would be for her to keep her cash in the bank and to undertake a very intensive learning and research journey of her own. 

 

 

Gary

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My first question of him would be....."what is about the system that is patent-pending?"  It looks like a pretty straightforward aquaponics system and I'd be interested to know what is patentable about it.

 

That was my first reaction as well... and second, third, forth etc :D

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Family Farmers Market Module.... http://www.ecsia.us/about/ECSIA_FFM

 

$54,000 to produce... 189 - 297 lettuce/kale harvested weekly

 

And that's without installation... or even the ladder to feed the fish... :D

 

And then there's the cost of leasing the building space, lighting....

 

Yearly operating costs for the Family Farmers Market Module range from $1,090.00 (no lights) to $6,381.00 (2 lights per trough).

 

How do you operate a "tiered" system optimally... without lights :D

 

Seriously... why wouldn't you invest in a greenhouse and standard DWC rafts... if you really wanted the invest that sort of money ... for bread & milk money in return....

 

350 - 500 lbs of fish annually... or (assuming alternatively)... 500 lbs - 720 lbs of Cherax Quadricarninatus (Red Claw Crayfish) annually

 

Ah.. ... assuming that a mum & dad farmer could actually acheive those levels of production...

 

How are you going to sell them... legally.....cost of licencing & food safety compliances... processing facility etc....

 

Yield does not include tuber and vining crops

 

Tubers & vine crops.... in a tiered raft system.... really... :D

 

Expected ROI for the farmer... 5 years+... (generously.. probably never) :D

 

But you seem to be steering your "investor" into the kit sales market... rather than an actual aquaponics farming operation...

 

Expected ROI for the retailer of the systems (or investor)... selling to the unsuspecting public.... who knows how many suckers are out there... :D

 

P.S ... $55,000 would probably get you a larger hydroponic plant production unit.. with at least comparable operating costs....

 

$100,000 of hydro...would probably beat a comparable investment in two units... hands down... ;)

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)
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Family Farmers Market Module.... http://www.ecsia.us/about/ECSIA_FFM

 

350 - 500 lbs of fish annually... or (assuming alternatively)... 500 lbs - 720 lbs of Cherax Quadricarninatus (Red Claw Crayfish) annually

 

I am sorry, what?   Is that Redclaw production plus the fish production in that unit?  Even if it was just the Redclaw, would love to know how he produced more redclaw biomass than fish in that.....

Edited by Paul Van der Werf (see edit history)
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I am sorry, what?   Is that Redclaw production plus the fish production in that unit?  Even if it was just the Redclaw, would love to know how he produced more redclaw biomass than fish in that.....

 

I'd like to know how an average Joe & Jill.. could even get any where near that level of redclaw production.. in a 500gal/2000L tank system like that... :D

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)
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Thanks for the helpful feedback on this manufacturer.  I asked them about what distinguishes them from, say, Friendly or Nelson Pade, and he said he'd set up a conference call with the owner to chat.  I'm assuming I'll be signing an NDA so I don't imagine I'll be able to share what they consider patent-able here.

 

When I called and asked about investing in the farm, he started talking about the manufacturer - who is looking for investors, but that is not what Cecil was referring to.  So I think I'm barking up the wrong tree with this manufacturer anyhow.  The thing that confused me is that the same guy is the contact both for the farm and for the manufacturer.  He works for ECSIA but also is connected to the farm (Fair Oaks) and helping with their aquaponics system.  

 

I'm not 100% sure if the setup I linked to is what's going in the farm, though it seems likely if the same guy is the contact.

 

So... this guy Glynn and his company are offering a variety of sizes of aquaponics systems, scaling up to the fairly large, yet nobody here (other than Cecil) has heard of him or the company.  Should that make me suspicious?  

 

If your visit has to do with your investor friend, my advice would be for her to keep her cash in the bank and to undertake a very intensive learning and research journey of her own. 

That's certainly what I'd say to her too, at this point.  But I figure it doesn't hurt to do a bit of searching, if only for my own education.  

 

I mentioned it on another thread, but I'm still seriously considering trying to put together an Angie's-list style site where people can review consultants, teachers, suppliers, etc... both on the backyard and commercial side of things.  I'd love to work with someone else on it if anyone's interested.  The trouble, I think, is that anyone who would be interested enough to work on it (including me) is likely to have either real or apparent conflict of interest, though I suppose that's the same with any of the forums we now have.  I guess transparency would be the key.

 

Does anyone else have any suggestions, perhaps more on the RAS side of things or perhaps an aquaculture feed supplier or some other ancillary business in the space, that hold promise?

Edited by Cold Weather Aquaponics (see edit history)

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Here's the website of the company who offers the system that Fair Oaks is using.  Founder is Glen Barber.  Anyone have experience with him or with this setup?

 

I verified that he's looking to expand and looking for investors.  We're going to talk more this afternoon.

 

Are you sure Fair Oaks is raising fish and plants? I wasn't aware they are.

 

And yes my initial post was just about an investment possiblity at Fair Oaks regarding a demo aquaculture system. Not sure, or know how Glynn fits in but I've been out of the loop.

 

Glynn is the present president of the Indiana Aquaculture Association btw. I was the previous one.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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Here are a "investments" I found on craigslist:

 

In Florida: http://houston.craigslist.org/bfs/4577037600.html , say profit potential, why not say is profitable?  Interesting.

 

In Texas:  http://collegestation.craigslist.org/grd/4648306767.html, this is Sand Creek Farm and Dairy.  I built those aquaponic facilities and think there asking price is a big reach. 

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In Florida: http://houston.craigslist.org/bfs/4577037600.html , say profit potential, why not say is profitable?  Interesting.

 

An aquaponic business with real estate.... lol

 

Certainly appears to be vegetables growing within the greenhouse that encloses the redclaw tanks...

 

But the "stacka-pot" system.. and other pot systems... that occupies most of the property is top fed watered... and I doubt that it was ever "aquaponics"... :D

 

And most of them now appear un-used anyway... and may have been for some time... (one wonders why?)

 

In Texas:  http://collegestation.craigslist.org/grd/4648306767.html, this is Sand Creek Farm and Dairy.  I built those aquaponic facilities and think there asking price is a big reach.

 

Again, while it might be a profitable or potentially profitable farm.. it doesn't mean that the "aquaponics component is profitable...

 

Hard to assess this one as...

 

3 aquaponic facilities + tropical tree greenhouse with micro aquaponic systems + vegetable packing shed w/walk in produce cooler + vegetable CSA and wholesale vegetable business for sale on contiguous property. See parcel #2 for more details.

 

There's no details in the link as to "parcel #2".. and just what size the aquaponic "facilities" are...

 

Interesting indeed... to see that farming real estate is now being sold with an aquaponics" draw card

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)

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How big are  the three "aquaponic" greenhouses Clint?

 

It's certainly NOT a "120 acre Aquaponics Facility"... it's a 120 acre dairy farm with an aquaponics facility... :D

Edited by RupertofOZ (see edit history)
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H CWA

Let's say I had a friend who wanted to invest $100k US in an North-American aquaponics or RAS business.  Where's her best investment opportunity?

 

I think a read of this doc/pdf " Review of Recirculation Aquaculture System Technologies and their Commercial Application"  particular chapter 5, http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/8808-review-of-recirculation-aquaculture-system-technologies-and-their-commercial-application/

(the hole doc is a good read), and will give you a better basis, to rewiev buisnis potential as investment objects (RAS)

 It is looking at potential & review the Scotish high-lands & isles, so it's cold weather climate, different marked (EU) thou, so you can't directly transfer, but still a good analysis.

 

cheers 

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Each gh is 32x100, the one has 1280 sq ft of dwc and the other two have 1600 sq ft each, total 4480 sq ft.  The issue is that they have almost no filtration (FAP design) thus lots of solids in the troughs to manage ie, clean out.  Lots of labor to run 3 gh's, 3 fish tanks etc.

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Waiting to hear back from Rob on what he's open to sharing, but I can verify that Fair Oaks appears to be just as Cecil suggested.  Based on how the operation is structured, they're offering for-profit partners a low-risk investment in aquaculture with a modest return.

 

It also seems like a really neat place - an agricultural amusement park or museum of sorts, which is also a working farm - and you would get to participate (albeit very passively) in the process of inspiring the next generation of farmers.

 

The hope - at least on Rob's part, though the owner seems willing - is that the next phase would include an aquaponics component.

 

One could argue that they're misleading by suggesting that the various farming techniques they're using are profitable.  But I don't think they're actually suggesting that.  It's pretty clear they make money off gate fees.

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450k for 5,000 heads a week system is a ridiculous price. You better be able to operate and harvest from your iPhone on the couch.

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