Dig Baton Rouge

Farmers Should Prepare Livestock for Possible Opening of Morganza Spillway, says LDAF

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is strongly urging livestock and farm equipment owners near, or have the potential to be affected by the flooding from the Morganza Spillway, to prepare to move both to higher ground as a result of river flooding.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain in other parts of the country continues to work its way down and is threatening to overtop the Morganza structure. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is anticipating opening the spillway in early June to alleviate flooding but will also inundate farm areas where crops and livestock are located.

“Farmers and ranchers need to prepare now to move livestock, feeding capability and equipment to higher ground. It is always important to have a game plan for times such as this,” said Strain.

Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation are urging President Trump to act in coordination with state, parish, levee district, and emergency officials in Louisiana and to grant the state’s disaster declaration request in response to record-breaking high water on the Mississippi River.

“Steps must be taken now to protect lives, property, communities and the infrastructure that powers the United States,” said the delegation in their May 23 letter.  

The LDAF is preparing to assist with search and rescue operations to deal with animal issues, and people with household pets should be ready to evacuate with their pets. If possible, please remember to have supplies and vaccination records with you. Livestock owners who need assistance should call their local Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP).

Crop damage as a result of the opening of the spillway should be reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). Assessments will be conducted by the LSU AgCenter.

For more information on emergency preparation for livestock, go to www.LDAF.la.gov or www.getagameplan.org.

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