BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A university scientist says flooding has cost south Louisiana rice farmers an estimated $14 million in fields that were destroyed after being completely submerged.
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana State University’s rice specialist, tells The Advertiser that doesn’t include yield or quality losses from rice that was damaged, but can still be harvested, nor does it include equipment and infrastructure losses.
Harrell said in some ways the damage is worse than from previous hurricanes.
He says with a hurricane the water recedes quickly, but in this case the backwater flooding is still there.
Rice farmer Richard Fontenot says his fields have been flooded five days. Harrell says crops can generally survive complete submersion about two days.
Fontenot, who farms rice and other crops, said the ultimate loss in rice will likely almost double Harrell’s initial estimate.