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- Head Grower - Morehead (KY) USA
- General Manager - Morehead (KY) USA
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Top 5 -last week
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Marc Laberge continues to work on perfecting and fine tuning:
Canada: ML Aquaponics, a pioneer in commercial aquaponics cultivation
Marc Laberge inside his Aquaponic greenhouse
After some trial and error, in June 2005, ML Aquaponics finally grew its first 6,000 commercial heads of lettuce, turning Marc into the region’s pioneer in aquaponics; a sector which was virtually unknown back then and which has been in constant expansion ever since. Competition has forced the firm to strive to maintain the highest quality standards with the lowest possible operating costs.
Marc does not shy away from openly talking about the highs and lows that he has experienced over the last 10 years; “there have been hard times, but they made me stronger, commercial aquaponics is not as easy as many say and mistakes cost big dollars. Marc warns about some clowns claiming to be aquaponic consultants. "Hire a good consultant with a known aquaponic commercial background, there are a handful or two out there, not cheap, but will save you a fortune."
This famous picture of Marc's greenhouse is used in many publications about aquaponics.
ML Aquaponics’ fish farm raises rainbow trout, which is why the lettuce variety grown by the company is called Mountain Rainbow. The company produces 45 tonnes of lettuce heads and 7.5 tonnes of trout per year. Marc explains that “the firm is not big on the fish side, but this depends on the design; Laberge says he can easily double his fish output, but would be stuck with over 400 litres of fish fertilizer per day; an environmental problem to some and a necessity for others. All depends on the countries; some are attracted to the low water consumption, others to the natural product… designs are endless. Although nothing but high-end techniques and equipment are used. Both the lettuce and the fish are produced in a 100% natural way and have gained quite a reputation for their quality.”
The company’s double poly greenhouse is 225 feet long by 40 wide and operates all year round. It is equipped with supplemental lighting, which is merely used to extend the day. Marc affirms that the future may lie in LED lightning, but which he believes will only reach reasonable prices in about 5 to 6 years.
Since the company’s success, aquaponics has attracted a lot of attention in the area and ML Aquaponics has received frequent buy-out offers. Marc’s interest for the future is either to establish franchises and expand or to be completely bought out and have a bigger budget to work with. In the meantime, he continues to work on perfecting and fine tuning, allowing him to have great insight into what the future performance of any aquaponics-devoted firm will be.
For more information:
Cultures Aquaponiques M.L. inc.
Marc Laberge, President
35 rue Brissette
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts (Québec) Canada
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Other news in this sector:
- 2019-04-18 NG: "Deliver farm fresh produce to retail and display them properly"
- 2019-04-18 Malaysia: Paraplegic farmer realizes his dream of an aquaponic farm
- 2019-04-18 Italy: Thirteen hectares of lettuce grown on a floating system
- 2019-04-18 "It’s all about collecting data and using it properly"
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- 2019-04-17 “The success of our niche cultivation mostly depends on an accumulation of coincidences”
- 2019-04-17 "We can sleep easy knowing the system is working well and alerting us if there is any issue"
- 2019-04-17 "We have now fully switched to German wild garlic"
- 2019-04-16 Hungary: New nursery brings total acreage Árpád-Agrár to 60 hectares
- 2019-04-16 Meet the 'Willy Wonka of tomatoes'
- 2019-04-16 US (CO): Fish power brings couple home to Montezuma County
- 2019-04-15 "We have to make cultivation more sustainable and communicate about it"
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