Louisiana officials want money, federal disaster support amid crawfish shortage

Louisiana officials want money, federal disaster support amid crawfish shortage
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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is asking the federal government to help Louisiana’s crawfish industry. It’s the latest in several requests from state officials including, Gov. Jeff Landry, Congressman Troy A. Carter Sr. (D-La.) and Congressman Clay Higgins (R-La.).

Carter has also asked the governor to issue a disaster declaration so crawfish farmers can access federal small business loans meant to help businesses bounce back from a widespread crisis.

LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting enough money and action to support the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program on Feb 2.

Strain wrote a second letter on Feb. 28 asking Vilsack to expand the program to include drought as a cause of loss for the crawfish industry. In 2023, Louisiana experienced a severe dry period which caused the ongoing crawfish shortage.

Landry also asked that drought be considered a cause of loss.

“According to the LSU AgCenter, preliminary estimates of crop loss and damage to Louisiana’s crawfish industry are nearly $140 million,” said Strain in a news release. “Louisiana’s crawfish industry is more than an economic driver for our state, it is a deep part of our cultural heritage. An economic loss for the crawfish industry also negatively impacts the Louisiana hospitality and tourism industries.”

Carter wrote letters to the USDA and the Small Business Administration asking them for emergency relief funds, technical support and help farmers in applying for SBA financing.

On Tuesday, Carter wrote to Landry asking him to pursue SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for crawfish farmers and issue a statewide disaster declaration in the crawfish aquaculture industry.

According to a news release from Carter’s office, a business must be in a declared disaster area to qualify for the loan.

“Louisianians know that the industry is broader than the farmers who raise crawfish. Our crawfish processors, restaurants, grocery stores, and boilers are also facing trying economic times,” Carter said. “Some of these are amongst the State’s most vulnerable small businesses. For example, an entire industry exists around planning and servicing crawfish boils during the spring. Currently, high prices have decimated this industry when they can obtain crawfish at all. For many of these boilers, their entire year’s worth of revenue has been wiped out.”

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About Mary Weyand 12338 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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