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Jan 29, 2014 11:11 PM by Erin Steuber

Farmers Suffer Due to Freeze

As Acadiana continues to thaw out farmers are dealing with the loss of crops. Within the last month there have been eight hard freeze, Wednesday marking the ninth, when temperatures dip 27 degrees or below. The unseasonably cold winter is making farming in South Louisiana a bit more challenging, and it's forcing farmers to get creative to save their crops, and livestock.

As a first generation farmer Brian Gotreaux uses everyday as a learning experience.

"First thing we did was order an 18-wheeler load of hay knowing that they (cows) can't graze frozen ground," said Gotreaux.

But with a farm producing everything from dairy to vegetables, livestock isn't the only concern. Gotreaux also raises tilapia, a tropical fish that needs warm air, and water, to survive.

"With all the propane you guys have been having to buy, really no profit this year for you guys?" said KATC's Erin Steuber.

"Right. This year is going to be a wash for us in the fish business," said Gotreaux.

The farm has also lost thousands of crops, including seedlings that should have already been planted. The family farm had to move all of the seedlings indoors to protect them.

But the most impacted crop: The tomatoes. One overnight dip into freezing temperatures killed a $5,000 crop.

"Did you even know how to prepare for something like this?" said Steuber.

"I did, but having the ability to be prepared was a whole different dynamic," said Gotreaux.

The freezing temperatures have cost the farm around $25,000 in losses.

"Tough ending, great beginning. We'll start all over," said Gotreaux.

 

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