Crawfish season is in full swing

Crawfish season is in full swing


The Lenten season has arrived, which usually
coincides with a greater demand for Louisiana crawfish. Mild winter weather allowed producers to start
harvesting early this year. Farmers are seeing a large quantity of crawfish
in their fields, and they are hoping the quality increases. I think the size is a little bit behind what
it normally is at this time of the year. And quantity a little bit ahead. So, we’re hoping they catch up. Because demand was weak and the catch was
strong, producers feared that prices would fall fast and they would be limited at how
often they could fish. Fontenot has been affected by the price, but
he has been able to fish consistently. We haven’t had to park boats very much. So, we’ve been fishing six days a week pretty
steady. Because of the large number of small crawfish,
crawfish processors also got an early start. Crawfish tail meat is sold by the pound and
is a key ingredient to many crawfish dishes. I’ve spoken to several processors or buyers,
they’re sending crawfish to peelers. I think in most cases, peelers came in early. They got their people who peel to come in
a little earlier than normal to get started. Processors prefer the smaller crawfish to
process, while growers want the larger crawfish for the live market because they fetch the
farmer a much better price. The difference between peelers and what they
are calling field run is around $1 to $1.25 difference per pound. How long consumers will be able to get fresh
crawfish will be determined by two factors. We’d like to get to the middle of June. That’s our goal. And obviously the crawfish and prices will
dictate when we’re going to stop. Depressed rice prices have made many rice
farmers more reliant on crawfish to sustain their farming operations. With the LSU AgCenter, this is Craig Gautreaux
reporting.

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