Indiana is known for corn and soybeans. Who would have thought you could raise saltwater shrimp 600 miles from an ocean in the middle of Indiana among corn and Soybeans?
Russell & Darryl Brown thought they could. RDM Aquaculture LLC was started on July 13, 2010. Darryl and Russell Brown wanted livestock on the farm. After moving from Tippecanoe County to Benton Country to raise hogs, the hog prices bottomed out and we got out of the hog business. For 15 years they looked at raising Tilapia. There were a lot of systems out there but no one was willing to let us see if they were raising Tilapia or not. One day Darryl happened to come across this shrimp system. He asked his wife what she thought. Well she loves shrimp and then she thought they are easier to clean. So the Browns formed RDM Aquaculture LLC and got their first post larval on July 13, 2010. RDM started raising saltwater shrimp indoors. We were the 3rd privately owned in the USA.
We chose to do a ZEAH system which means Zero Exchange Aerobic Heterotrophic System. It basically means we use a bacteria culture to raise our shrimp with Zero Water Exchange. The bacteria takes care of all of the waste inside the tank. We never discharge our water. RDM water is going on 5 years old. Once you get the bacteria established you do not want to lose it. We take care of the water by testing daily for 9 different things every day.
We never add any hormones or antibiotics into our system. If we need to make changes or adjust any thing going wrong in the tanks we do so by adjusting their feed. Using no hormones or antibiotics guarantees a fresh shrimp. Our shrimp have this wonderful clean flavor. We cook with the head on and do not de-vein the shrimp. There is nothing in the vein and what little is cooks itself out. Cooking with the head produces this wonderful sweetness in the meat. The shells are wonderful to eat also. (just not the peel n eat version)
At RDM Aquaculture LLC we are getting in 250,000 post larval every 25 days. We do a 95% survival rate. We now produce more post larval then we can support in our grow out tanks. We supply them to new farmers getting up, or to farmers only wanting a small amount. We are delivering pls (post larval) to 14 shrimp farms as of today.
Supplying the pls to new shrimp farmers jump starts their production along getting more rotations a year. If you start the bacteria by yourself and you do your own nursery you will only get two rotations your first year. Purchasing your pls from us gets you 4 rotations your first year. That just means faster cash flow.
One of the things that makes our system so unique in aquaculture is we use no pumps. Our tanks run on air only. We use a regenerative blower to get air into the tanks but we use only air to keep the bacteria in suspension. We are experimenting with larger tanks to run on air only and still get 90% survival rate.
There are 25 shrimp farms across the US. We have set up 18 of these and very proud of all of them. The farmers running them are doing very well and most are doing their own nursery now and expanding their operations.
We need more shrimp farmers. Right now none of us can supply to grocery store chains. We can supply to chain restaurants either. Most of us do retail sales out our door or local farmers market.
Since we started we have partnered up with Marvesta to set up farms in the chicken barns in Maryland, producing 90% survival rates out of all our tanks, (nursery, Intermediate and production) , raising crawfish and next is aquaponics and tilapia, bass and bluegill. I have a goal to make Indiana the cross roads for seafood and Indiana the shrimp capital of the world.
Who would have thought all of this in the middle of corn and soybeans in Indiana 600 miles from the ocean. We are here to tell you it can happen. If you are interested in learning more about shrimp farming or just our about our shrimp, please call. We will help you out.
Goals for 2015 and 2016. Make RDM a one stop seafood shop.