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Federal government approves Gov. Landry's economic disaster declaration following drought

3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Friday, March 22 2024 Mar 22, 2024 March 22, 2024 10:19 AM March 22, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — The U.S. Small Business Administration approved Louisiana's request for a disaster declaration in response to the substantial drought that has significantly affected the state's agricultural industry Friday morning.

Governor Jeff Landry's request for an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration early this month was approved for all 64 parishes. It will allow federal funds to be allocated to farmers and businesses whose livelihoods were affected by the drought.

“I’m excited to announce these federal resources for our crawfish farmers, processors, restaurants, grocery stores, and boilers," Congressman Troy Carter said. "The crawfish industry is intertwined with our identity, and its preservation is crucial. These federal resources will help Louisianians recover their financial losses.” 

Last year's extreme drought conditions have critically impacted the agriculture industry statewide, affecting 365,000 acres of land. The drought has also led to lows in the Mississippi River, causing a saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico and the Intercostal Waterway. This severely impacted crawfish farmers, processors, restaurants, grocery stores, and boilers. 

During a typical year, Louisiana generates anywhere from 175 million to 200 million pounds of crawfish — contributing $500 million to the state’s economy annually. According to the LSU AgCenter, the potential losses the drought will cause to the state’s crawfish industry alone will be nearly $140 million.

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