Crawfish Crops in Danger After Cold Weather

It was a season that started off promising, but recent cold weather temperatures and winter flooding have pushed crawfish demand higher than farmers can supply them.

David Savoy, President of the Louisiana Crawfish Farmer's Association said, “Crawfish are cold blooded animals and they go down further and once it gets cold it takes them longer to come out.”

Savoy said the numbers for the start of the season were promising, but now the supply is one-third less than previous predictions. This decline is making it harder for farmers to meet demands, and harder for consumers to enjoy them.

“Fifty percent of people will get the crawfish they want, but the others won't,” he said.

Cold weather cannot take all the blame. Heavy rains in December and January produced massive flooding, and massive loss of younger crawfish.

“I basically watched a decent amount of my crop swim away,” Savoy began, “and the thing about that…once my money is invested, if I lose it, I can never get it back.”

On his worse day, Savoy caught 140 sacks. While this seems promising, he said the money he makes off a catch that small, barely covers his workers and mortgage.

“Right now, I would normally catch between 300 and 400 sacks.”

The size of crawfish is also leaving consumers with a bitter taste.

“There are some good crawfish out there, but for the most part, there's a lot of small- medium crawfish, not good- medium crawfish but small medium crawfish.”

Ridge Seafood and Snowballs owner, Michael Jones buys and sells crawfish. He also boils them at night for customers. He said his customer base is growing faster than he can supply them.

“I hate to disappoint them when we can't get them, but that's due to the farmers. They can't catch them right now, it's too slow.”

However, he is optimistic about the future of the season.

“If we keep this weather for the next couple of weeks, it'll get there. It's just a late start.”

Savoy agreed, “I just hope that the production is there for the demand and we can keep going so that we make some money, so that we can continue to do this.”

It was a season that started off promising, but recent cold weather temperatures and winter flooding have pushed crawfish demand higher than farmers can supply them.

David Savoy, President of the Louisiana Crawfish Farmer's Association said, “Crawfish are cold blooded animals and they go down further and once it gets cold it takes them longer to come out.”

Savoy said the numbers for the start of the season were promising, but now the supply is one-third less than previous predictions. This decline is making it harder for farmers to meet demands, and harder for consumers to enjoy them.

“Fifty percent of people will get the crawfish they want, but the others won’t,” he said.

Cold weather cannot take all the blame. Heavy rains in December and January produced massive flooding, and massive loss of younger crawfish.

“I basically watched a decent amount of my crop swim away,” Savoy began, “and the thing about that…once my money is invested, if I lose it, I can never get it back.”

On his worse day, Savoy caught 140 sacks. While this seems promising, he said the money he makes off a catch that small, barely covers his workers and mortgage.

“Right now, I would normally catch between 300 and 400 sacks.”

The size of crawfish is also leaving consumers with a bitter taste.

“There are some good crawfish out there, but for the most part, there’s a lot of small- medium crawfish, not good- medium crawfish but small medium crawfish.”

Ridge Seafood and Snowballs owner, Michael Jones buys and sells crawfish. He also boils them at night for customers. He said his customer base is growing faster than he can supply them.

“I hate to disappoint them when we can’t get them, but that's due to the farmers. They can’t catch them right now, it’s too slow.”

However, he is optimistic about the future of the season.

“If we keep this weather for the next couple of weeks, it’ll get there. It’s just a late start.”

Savoy agreed, “I just hope that the production is there for the demand and we can keep going so that we make some money, so that we can continue to do this.”

 

-Hope Ford

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