By: Tiffany Baker, Program Clerk
The recent raining in Louisiana has caused flooding through many parts of the state. Reports from the state estimates that over 40,000 homes have been severely damaged during the floods. However, it will take several weeks for officials to conduct a full investigation of the damages done to the crops as over 3 feet of water still remains in many areas.
There have been concerns about the rice and soybean harvests for the state. It is unknown how much of the fields can be harvested until the water returns to it natural position. However, if the water drains early enough, there might still be able to save the rice, though quality might suffer greatly.
Authorities are expecting the water to take at least a week or more to start receding back to the crest. They are also hoping that the reported rain fall in the coming day are mild enough to not add to the current situation. Many Farmers are trying to assess the situation and are being proactive by re-buying plants and seeds to begin the growing process again. Many of the places hit by the floods contributes to the state’s $76 million vegetable crops as well as a little under half of the state’s $52 million dairy production.
While it is unknown how bad the damage is until the water disappears, we can expect to see many issues in the future. Many workers, including farmworkers, are out of work without pay and the date when they can return to the field is unknown. On top of being out of work, many of them have lost homes in the flood. Based on previous information, we know that farmworkers are barely making ends meet with food and shelter. Without work it will be harder for them to afford basic needs for them and their families. We should also prepare ourselves for food shortages or higher prices in the coming weeks.