WASHINGTON – (7/12/19) Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, wrote to USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue to alert the agency of impending damage to Louisiana agriculture in the wake of Tropical Storm Barry.
Barry, which could make landfall in Louisiana as a hurricane, could cause extensive damage to crops that are nearing harvest. Abraham, Louisiana’s only member of the House Agriculture Committee, has also personally communicated with Perdue to express his concerns.
The USDA does offer disaster assistance to farmers who suffer losses due to natural disasters. Congressmen Mike Johnson and Clay Higgins joined Abraham signing in the letter.
“While we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, the current path of the storm warrants major concern for real disaster for Louisiana agriculture,” Abraham said. “President Trump acted swiftly in his disaster declaration, and I’m sure that the USDA will be ready to respond to farmers’ needs as well.”
Close to 400,000 acres of rice, most of which is concentrated in central and south central/southwestern Louisiana, is about two weeks away from harvest. Rainfall in the projected amounts from Barry could create tremendous loss as well as damage to the grain quality of surviving crops.
Soybeans could suffer a total loss across the southern part of the state. High winds could damage the corn crop that is also a few weeks from harvest.
Cotton in low-lying areas is at major risk, as is sugar.
To read the letter, click here.