WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) and members of the Louisiana delegation delivered a letter today calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expedite disaster assistance for Louisiana’s crawfish farmers in response to the 2021 severe winter storm.

“In early 2021 Louisiana experienced what can be described as a historic deep freeze…. One of the many industries that was hit hard by the freeze was our crawfish industry,” wrote members of the Louisiana delegation.

“As you know, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or other loss conditions. In May 2021, we were relieved food fish and other aquatic species were granted eligibility to request ELAP assistance. While we’re encouraged to learn that the Farm Service Agency (FSA) began delivering this much needed assistance to our crawfish farmers just two weeks ago, we’ve since received several concerns from farmers whose applications have been denied due to the failure to report their acreage prior to the September deadline,” the lawmakers continued.

“We understand that acreage reporting is a normal practice for FSA programs, and traditional crop farmers are aware of the process, requirements, and deadlines. However, it is essential to note that crawfish farming is a unique, niche practice to which some producers’ first time engaging with FSA was for this purpose… We urge you and the FSA Administrator to review this time-sensitive request and grant much needed assistance to our Louisiana crawfish farmers,” concluded the lawmakers.

Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Representatives Steve Scalise (R-LA), Mike Johnson (R-LA), and Julia Letlow (R-LA) also signed the letter.

The full letter is available as a pdf here.

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