Dry conditions in the area are causing major problems for Louisiana’s $230 million dollar crawfish industry. The excessive heat and drought are making it difficult for Louisiana crawfish farmers to maintain their land.

Alan Lawson, a crawfish and rice farmer in Crowley, said it costs him lots of money just to irrigate crops.

“We’ve had to irrigate these fields after the rice was harvested,” Lawson said. “We’ve had to pump water on them to keep the stubble and the forage alive for what we hope to be the crawfish crop in the winter and next spring.”

Lawson said both crops play an important role in the agriculture economy, but the dry conditions in the area can create problems for crawfish production.

“The last time we had drought conditions like this, it was pretty bad for the crawfish season. That can be a real bad blow to the industry if we don’t have production.”

Lawson said crawfish are at a high risk of dying because of rice crops drying out.

“The crawfish will feed off of what’s left over from that rice crop in the spring in the following season. Without some water to keep it alive, the rice plants are dying. The grasses and the rice. Everything is drying out.”

Lawson said all of the farmers in the region are doing what they think is best to keep crawfish alive but said the minimal rain and heat makes it difficult to farm.

“Everybody’s trying what we think is the right thing to do, but we really don’t. There’s nothing like a good slow soaking rain that we haven’t had in a long time, and this excessive heat is not helping.”

Lawson said if the supply of crawfish is short, it will lead to higher prices for both farmers and consumers next year.