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Graves, Carter Call for Immediate Assistance from USDA for Louisiana Crawfish Farmers

U.S. Congressmen Garret Graves (Louisiana) and Troy Carter (Louisiana) led a formal request asking that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP) funding to drought-affected crawfish producers in Louisiana. Congress has already granted the USDA discretion to provide assistance to farmers affected by severe weather through the ELAP statute; the bipartisan letter asks that the Secretary use it now to provide relief to Louisiana farmers who suffered significant crawfish crop losses due to extreme heat and drought in 2023.

“We’re going to have to pass around collection plates at our Good Friday crawfish boils,” said Rep. Graves. “Crawfish prices are soaring and our crawfishers are facing significant financial losses. The Secretary of Agriculture already has the authority to provide immediate relief to our crawfish farmers through the ELAP statute without any regulatory changes. We urge them to do this now – there’s zero sense in waiting to make things right for our folks at home who are still scorched from last summer’s heat. We are exploring every avenue to provide relief to farmers and do our crawfish justice.”

“Crawfish aquaculture is more than just a product in Louisiana; it’s a way of life. The changing climate is devastating our state’s crawfish producers; they need a helping hand. That’s why we’re asking the federal government for funding to compensate for extreme weather conditions that have wreaked havoc on our agricultural landscape. Without intervention from the Department of Agriculture, this traditional cuisine will be inaccessible to many families, and our farmers will have to choose between operating at a financial loss or shutting down entirely. I sent letters to the USDA and the SBA urging them to expedite any available assistance programs and resources to support our farmers. Federal government intervention is essential,” said Rep. Carter.

"Louisiana Farm Bureau is thankful for the support of Congressmen Carter and Graves. The crawfish industry is vitally important to our state's culture and economy and that largely begins on our family farms. We're glad to have strong representatives who are willing to stand up, collaborate and let federal agencies know what they should do now to protect the livelihoods of our hardworking farmers," said Jim Harper, President of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.


  • Louisiana is the nation’s leading crawfish producer, supplying over 100 million pounds annually and generating over $300 million for the local economy
  • In 2023, South Louisiana experienced record heat and drought during the critical crawfish reproductive season
  • August heat indexes in South Louisiana reached highs between 99 and 115 degrees
  • In Water Year 2023 (October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023), 97.81% of Louisiana experienced D2 severe drought
Click here to read the letter.