Nebraska-based agribusiness giant Scoular is investing in its belief that barley will be increasingly used as a protein in aquaculture feed.

The company is currently commissioning a 7,000-metric-ton plant in Idaho to produce its barley protein concentrate.

Scoular Program Manager JC Olson said barley has an opportunity to fill a niche in the feed ingredients sector, particularly when contrasted with other vegetable proteins.

Barley uses less water and fertilizer, uses no wastewater, and its production contrasts with soy, which in some cases has been linked with deforestation in Brazil.