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Superior Fresh leading the way in aquaponics

Nestled in the Coulee region of Wisconsin is one of the largest aquaponics facilities in the world. It sits on a 720-acre native restoration property and raises leafy greens as well as Atlantic salmon and Steelhead. SF-Retail10

Superior Fresh, located in Hixton, WI, is taking sustainability to the next level. “The restoration property has been converted from conventional, monocrop agriculture into natural, native prairies and oak savannas,” said Nate Hefti, regional sales manager for Superior Fresh. “The fish-house and greenhouses are using state-of-the-art technology to efficiently raise fish and vegetables, giving us the opportunity to return the land back to its native state. All waste products from the facilities are composted onsite and used to enrich the poor soils that exist throughout the land.”

The water used to raise the salmon is cycled through to then fertilize the aquaponics facility, then cycled back again to the salmon tanks, meaning zero discharge of production water.

“By weight, for every one pound of salmon we produce we feed the fish 1.1 pounds of food. This equals nearly a one-to-one feed conversion ratio (FCR) but does not include the additional 10 pounds of produce we grow per one pound of fish food,” said Hefti. “Therefore, we have a FCR that is one-to-10, equaling one pound of fish food into the system and 10 pounds salmon and vegetables out.” For perspective, cattle has a food conversion ratio of approximately 10 to one, meaning every one pound of beef requires 10 pounds of cattle feed.

Currently the company is shipping up to 4,000 pounds of baby greens 1,000 pounds of head lettuce every day and is always looking at opportunities to expand into other markets to allow more people the opportunity to buy organic, safe, local fresh food. With nearly zero water discharge, the company believes facilities could be located anywhere on the planet, making it a readily available and safe local food source.