An article from the LSU Ag Center reported on a survey giving to crawfish farmers in Louisiana. The results brought back from the survey were not very encouraging. According to the numbers, the crawfish season could be ending as early as May instead of the typical June.

The article listed a few factors in the reasoning behind the possible short season. The big one is due to the COVID-19 virus shutting down gatherings and restaurants. A lot of the farmers rely on these big purchases from caterers and restaurants to buy regularly in large quantities. Without the large orders coming through, the farmers are having to go as far as cutting back two or three days a week from harvesting.

Berlin's Main Park Invaded By Louisiana Crawfish
Adam Berry/Getty Images

Another factor listed in the article discusses that this year has shown a large influx of new farmers popping up. Spending thousands on equipment to take advantage of such a large season, but then not being able to break even during the situation we are all currently going through.

Many farmers are beginning to drain their fields in order to prepare to plant rice. The farmers drain the fields slowly to allow the crawfish to burrow its way back down into the mud until next year. Some farmers this year are draining their fields fast to kill off some of the population and control a virus called the "white spot virus". Scientists are studying the virus, to find out what triggers it in certain fields, but not others. According to Mark Shirley of the AgCenter, the virus only affects the crawfish and crustacean cousins, not humans or other animals.

Until the bigger places can get back up and running, the crawfish farmers will make do with what they have, and hope for a better season next year.


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