Louisiana Crawfish Farmers Feeling the Pinch of Coronavirus
When is the last time you did not attend a crawfish boil over the Easter holiday weekend? Go ahead, I'll give you a minute or two to ponder that question. If you're like most Louisiana residents a Good Friday crawfish boil is just what you do. Because of this year's coronavirus threat, many Louisiana families won't be boiling up mudbugs.
It's not that there isn't a large supply of crawfish to be had. No supply is not the issue. It's the fact that we can't gather together in large groups. That's what is really putting the pinch, pardon the pun, on our state's crawfish farming community.
The Louisiana Crawfish Farmer's Association predicts that crawfish sales will be down as much as 60% this year because of the coronavirus threat. Another issue that's killing the season is the lack of corporate boils. Let's face it, even if there was no virus issue the fact that oil prices are in the toilet would have affected a lot of corporate and private gatherings anyway.
Industry experts at LSU say the breakeven point for a Louisiana crawfish producer is about .50 to .60 cents per pound. Many producers have started to sell their catch to peeling houses instead of going through the direct to the consumer marketplace.
Still, the peeling houses already have an abundance of mudbugs to peel so the prices are falling below break even. Hopefully, Louisiana crawfish producers will be able to piggyback on some of the Federal Government programs that will allow them to at least keep from going under in this once in a lifetime, we hope, kind of season.