May 29, 2019
WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, and the Louisiana Congressional delegation are urging the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be prepared to aid farmers in the wake of damages from the opening of the Morganza Spillway.
Abraham, who is Louisiana’s only member of a Congressional agriculture committee, led the delegation in the letter. They sent it to USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue on Friday, May 24.
The spillway, which is scheduled to open on June 2 for just the third time in its 46-year history, is expected to flood 25,000 acres of farmland in the Atchafalaya Basin. It could result to a total crop and aquaculture loss in the region. The letter also notes that farmers in the state are still contending with Chinese tariffs and recent severe weather.
“[W]e urge you to stand ready not only to provide all appropriate U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency and non-emergency resources available to those adversely impacted, but to assist eligible farmers and producers to access available aid across the federal government,” the letter said. “As you know, the impact of these repeated hits will be felt not only for the season, but for years and generations beyond.”
Those signing the letter along with Abraham were U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy and U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, Cedric Richmond, Garret Graves, Clay Higgins and Mike Johnson.
Read the letter here.