COVID-19 wreaking havoc on Louisiana crawfish industry

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB)- The abundance of rain and warm temperatures in Louisiana was expected to bring about a great crawfish season this year, but the coronavirus outbreak is wreaking havoc on the industry.

Source: WVUE

This comes as Louisiana enters the peak of crawfish season.

Now that restaurants are limited to take-out and drive-thru only the LSU AgCenter says restaurants are only buying 10-20% of what they'd normally buy and producers are only selling 10-15% of what they catch.

Processing plants are also having trouble getting workers from Mexico to fully staff peeling operations.

All of that is having a trickle-down effect on the state's rice industry.

One positive is that the current overabundance of crawfish means prices are dropping for consumers.

The LSU AgCenter says now might be a good time to stock up on some mudbugs, by boiling and freezing them for later.

They say a 30 to 35-pound sack will yield about 5 pounds of meat.

The AgCenter says boil your crawfish with no salt or seasoning for seven minutes so tail temperatures reach 180 degrees.

Then, cool the crawfish to 50 degrees in less than an hour.

Peel the crawfish and place it in a re-sealable or vacuum-sealed bag.

Finally, place the bags in a single layer to freeze as fast as possible.

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