Louisiana’s Sugarcane Farmers Struggle after Floods

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Louisiana’s high-volume agriculture industry is among the devastated after the southeast region of the state was soaked by overwhelming floodwaters.

Sugarcane fields remain flooded in areas of the state, such as fields in St. James, Ascension, St. Martin, Iberia, Lafayette, Vermilion and St. Landry parishes, according to the Associated Press.

Sugarcane expert Kenneth Gravois of Louisiana State University (LSU) said when the flooding hit farmers, they had only planted about 15 to 20 percent of their expected acreage.

LSU Agriculture Center economist Kurt Guidry said based on early reports, some $110 million in losses has plagued the industry over the past two months, citing recent floods and all-too frequent rainfall last month, according to Delta Farm Press.

Guidry said that because some sugarcane fields and other areas remain flooded, there has not been a widespread assessment yet on the impact of the floods to the agriculture industry.

While over 60,000 homes in the state have been destroyed by floodwaters, in Ascension Parish, almost a third of all homes were devastated, as Breitbart Texas reported.

Today, roughly 2,500 flood victims in the region remain in shelters. That number is down from when Gov. John Bel Edwards first reported that 10,000 residents were displaced last week.

Edwards visited a subdivision in Youngsville, Louisiana, near Lafayette, which had never flooded before. Now, however, every third or fourth home in the suburb was gutted with residents’ properties on front lawns.

One resident told Edwards that she had always paid her taxes on time, but was now struggling to get help from federal agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Edwards said that because the region had previously never flooded, a number of residents were not subject to buying flood insurance, a common problem now across the southeast region of the state.

John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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