JENNINGS, La. (KPLC) - This time of the year is typically the peak of crawfish season for local farmers — but, because state mandates only allow restaurants to serve meals to-go, crawfish farmers here are feeling the impacts.
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“Every day we’re not moving crawfish to the market is just a day lost," local crawfish farmer Burt Tietje said.
Tietje said he makes forty percent of his income from crawfish season.
“Right now, I’m getting already the lowest price I got last year for crawfish and this should be the high price season for crawfish," Tietje said.
But, due to coronavirus mandates from state officials, restaurants’ dine-in options are non-existent which means those customers aren’t buying nearly as much.
“Large crawfish boiling houses, large restaurants, particularly in that Houston, Dallas, San Antonio areas is where a lot of crawfish goes to from South Louisiana," Tietje said. "If a restaurant has a drive thru portion of their business they’re still selling crawfish that way, but it’s a fraction of what they do when they’ve got their dining room open.”
He said right now the industry is heavily relying on local buyers.
“Right now the thing that’s keeping us alive in the market are the local, Louisiana consumers who are home and are having nice crawfish boils for their family. Their demand is keeping us in business right now,” Tietje said. “Go out there and eat guys!”