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Graves, Carter Announce Assistance from USDA for Louisiana Crawfish Farmers

U.S. Congressmen Garret Graves (Louisiana) and Troy Carter (Louisiana) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP) funding to crawfish producers in Louisiana affected by last year’s drought. Graves and Carter led a formal request in February 2024 to the USDA, laying out the authority that Congress had already granted through the ELAP statute; the bipartisan letter asked that the Secretary of Agriculture immediately provide relief to Louisiana farmers who suffered significant crop losses in 2023 due to adverse weather. USDA announced today that they were able to use that discretion to authorize policy flexibilities that will allow crawfish producers to recover losses from last year’s extreme heat.

“Everyone at home felt the effects of last year’s heat on our crawfish – from farm to table,” said Graves. “We knew that the federal government didn’t need any more authority to do the right thing and provide relief to our crawfishers. 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.”

“Crawfish is deeply ingrained in our cultural identity, representing more than just a product – it's a cherished way of life passed down through generations,” said Rep. Carter. “Recent extreme weather events have caused financial setbacks, and our crawfish producers need a helping hand. 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.”

“Louisiana’s crawfish industry has been reeling from the effects of last year’s heat and drought. This is a welcomed announcement from USDA that will really help our farmers and our state. Crawfish is important to our culture and our economy. 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.” - 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