The Vermilion Parish Police Jury has declared an emergency in the parish for soybean farmers.
Vermilion Parish relies heavily on agriculture.
With the extended rain hurting many farmers around the parish, soybean farmers are unable to sell their crop because it was destroyed.
Wayne Touchet, Police Juror representing District 5 in Vermilion Parish, says, “The long period of rain has greatly reduced the income of the agriculture in Vermilion Parish so that’s why we filed the declaration first for the soybean farmers which is to try to shine a light on our delegation who represents us in Washington where they can try to get some assistance for our farmers in Vermilion.”
Touchet says the rainy conditions have not only affected soybean farmers. He also says the tariffs imposed on soybeans have slowed the buying process down and diminished the value.
“There’s not really… no fix for this. The farmers have to rely on their crop insurance. Crop insurance pays up to 50% of the damage,” explains Touchet.
News Ten reports, “This is the first time since you’ve been a police juror for 15 years in this type of situation that you all have had to declare an emergency in Vermillion Parish for soybean farmers, correct?”
“Correct,” adds Touchet. “We’ve declared emergencies in the past over hurricanes but never over extended rainfall. Never. This is the first time.”
News Ten reports, “In the past, FEMA has helped with state-wide emergencies, but like you said, in this type of condition, it’s hard to get help, if you will?”
“This is not considered a disaster because it’s not a big event like a hurricane. It’s just a wet period. And there’s no mechanism in place for farmers to go for funding except for their crop insurance,” says Touchet.
Touchet adds soybeans are a secondary crop that many farmers produce as an extra income, but this year their supplemental income is totally gone because of the rainy conditions throughout this year.