BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — As the state remains in an extreme drought, the dry and hot weather conditions are not only affecting sugarcane crops and the cattle industry, but could also impact crawfish production.

While crawfish season is months away, the current drought spreading across the entire state of Louisiana could still affect production. The LSU AgCenter identified three issues that could impact the multimillion-dollar crawfish production — dry ground, lack of rain increasing salt levels and not enough food for the mudbugs.

Agriculture experts said the drought is happening at a time when rice farmers are depending on crawfish to offset increasing costs.

“In the last two years, rice prices have increased but input costs also have increased,” said Todd Fontenot, an LSU AgCenter area agent for crawfish production. “With dry conditions this year, there’s increased pumping costs. Crawfish do fill that need and help to provide additional income to continue operating. They have become a really critical part of the farming operation.”

Farmers said extremely hot temperatures have also affected sugarcane crops, causing issues in growing, and leaving crops stunted in height.

LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois said there have been failed acres because of freezes, but he doesn’t know of having failed acres because of drought.