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Bi-annual AquaSur event — a salmon fest with an omega-3 focus this year

Salmon executives are treated to the impressive volcano views of Puerto Varas when they visit the bi-annual AquaSur event in southern Chile. AquaSur rotates with the AquaNor salmon trade fair, which is traditionally held in Trondheim, Norway.
The theme this year was unquestionably the future of omega-3 feed ingredients in the salmon industry. Veramaris, the joint venture of Royal DSM and Evonik Industries, Corbion, and Cargill arrived this year with evening parties and a strategic offensive to wean salmon companies off fish oil. 
The entry of novel omega-3 ingredients couldn’t come at a better time for the industry. There have been three consecutive of poor harvests in Peru, the world’s largest supplier, because of El Nino. Arguably the world news story was the realization that the world’s oceans are full of plastic. Consumers are slowly beginning to question the safety of wild-caught seafood because of this. Also, scientists from Nofima have begun to question the theory that salmon can thrive with a diet comprising less than 10% fish oil. 
It took me a while to write this story for UCN, but this summarizes the current push from the novel omega-3 supply side:
Algal oil in salmon a hit, only needs scale to go mainstream

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Cargill’s canola omega-3 crop program in Montana state 🇺🇸

Back in June I collected my MBA degree in New York and headed to Montana state to visit Cargill’s canola omega-3 crop program in Montana state. Growing omega-3 on the Great Plains to feed Atlantic salmon in the fjords of Norway and Chile is a remarkable development.

Montana farmers are on the periphery of America’s best farmland soil. The best farming area is nestled below the Rockies Mountains where irrigation ditches provide year round water. This area is called the Golden Triangle has been a long-term supplier of barley to Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors. Just lately, farmers have been losing their long-term supply contracts to the big brewers and have had a tough time with alternative crops such as chickpeas and lentils (hundreds and thousands of tons of lentils were returned from India because of oversupply). The next best play in town if you are a farmer is to house a nuclear warhead. As one of most inland part of the United States and home to the Air Force, America has a significant amount of its nuclear arsenal position in secret locations dotted throughout Montana’s farmland.

Cargill’s opening of a research facility on the outskirts of Great Falls is also a homecoming of sorts. The company built most of the state’s irrigation ditches a century ago, but was forced to leave the state decades ago as part of an M&A deal. Many of the state’s old grain loading facilities are still the largest buildings in most Montana farming towns, casting ghostly silhouettes over this back country. Cargill built its new facility dedicated to omega-3 canola crops in the fashion of an old grain loader, in what it considers a homecoming to the state.

I enjoyed a fantastic road trip to the Cargill site, renting a vehicle in Denver and driving through most of Montana and the Yellowstone National Park, where I saw Ibex playing in the snow and bison roaming the roads through the park.

Check out my story on Cargill’s omega-3 plans in Montana for Undercurrent News.