Crawfish farmers among COVID-19 business casualties


MORGANZA, La. (LOCAL 33)(FOX 44) – The crawfish traps are coming up full this season each pull is another pound up for sale. But at Four Oaks Farm, there’s no shortage of supply, it’s the demand that’s coming up short.

This time last year, Chris Blades’ mudbug farm, was pulling in record numbers of crawfish sales.

“Last year was an anomaly it was an anomaly but a good one,” Blades says.

Four Oaks Farm in Morganza, La.

The farm raked in about $400,000 dollars. The year before that in 2018, it was around $350,000 dollars. Now, under COVID-19, Blades says he’s lucky if he makes about 65 percent of those figures.

“Easter is typically a huge weekend for crawfish,” Blades says. “Someone might order 15 sacks for a gathering, well this year they’re not having that as big and they’re going down to three. That’s a more than 20 percent drop right there.”

Blades will have to lower the price or stop fishing altogether to get rid of some of that supply. Neither solution is ideal financially. He’ll lose about $ 100,000 thousand dollars in income. But luckily for blades, he’s got a backup plan.

His business is opening a drive thru option for the crawfish shop in New Roads. It was already in the works before the outbreak, but now it’s almost a necessity to keep income flowing.

If more customers don’t come out and support local farms like blades, we could see some farmers closing up shop in the near future. But for four oaks, that’s not in the cards.
“If that means lowering the price not catching that much,” Blades says. “We’re still going to try to make the money on that.”

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