Aquaculture North America

Crawfish farmers in Louisiana to receive USDA relief after severe drought

May 29, 2024
By Aquaculture North America staff

U.S. congressmen, Garret Graves and Troy Carter, have announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP) funding to crawfish producers in Louisiana affected by the 2023 drought. 

From Oct. 1, 2022 to Sept. 30, 2023, 97.81 per cent of Louisiana experienced D2 severe drought. In February 2024, Graves and Carter formally requested the USDA to provide relief to Louisiana farmers who suffered significant crop losses in 2023 due to adverse weather. 

USDA also announced that they authorized policy flexibilities that will allow crawfish producers to recover losses from the previous year’s extreme heat.

“We knew that the federal government didn’t need any more authority to do the right thing and provide relief to our crawfishers,” said Graves. “While it shouldn’t have taken three months for the Department of Agriculture to act, we appreciate that our farmers will now receive this long-awaited support. We will continue doing everything that we can in Congress to do our crawfishers (and our crawfish) justice.”


Carter said the weather events have caused financial setbacks, making crawfish producers in need of help. 

“This industry sustains farmers and a network of processors, restaurants, and small businesses crucial to Louisiana’s economy. I’d like to thank Secretary Vilsack for supporting crawfish farmers by providing ELAP grants to help those hurting recover their financial losses,” said Carter. 

Jim Harper, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation said the announcement from USDA will help their farmers and the state.

“We appreciate the efforts of Congressmen Graves and Carter, along with the entire Louisiana delegation, in urging USDA to immediately use its authority to provide much-need relief, and for its longstanding support to protect the livelihoods of our crawfish farmers. Louisiana Farm Bureau works best when our members and congressional leaders come together,” Harper said.

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