Hurricane damage causes problems for Louisiana cattle, poultry producers

Agriculture

Horses in a pasture near Holmwood after Hurricane Laura. Debris like this is scattered throughout the area, and fencing is down in numerous locations allowing livestock to get out of pasture and create a hazard on roadways. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

LAKE CHARLES, La. (LSU AgCenter) – Cattle producers in southwest Louisiana parishes are struggling to overcome the obstacles created by Hurricane Laura.

Jimmy Meaux, LSU AgCenter agent in Calcasieu Parish, said hay and fencing donations have been arriving but more is needed. Temporary pastures and corrals for cattle hauled from Cameron Parish are getting crowded. “We’re trying to find more staging areas.”

He said watering cattle has been helped with rainfall, but pumps for wells in pastures can’t be used because there’s no electricity. “Some just need a generator to run their wells.”

Meaux said damaged fences are common throughout the area. “In some places, fences are laid over for miles.”

Without fences, he said, cattle have been getting out of pastures and creating a hazard on roads, especially at night.

Meaux said his home is badly damaged, with trees and an awning on his roof. But he said his colleague, Bradley Pousson, LSU AgCenter county agent in Cameron Parish, has a bigger problem. “His house was destroyed where he was living in Carlyss. It’s gone. He’s working with no place to live.”

Pousson said he’s been working at what’s left of his house, along with his parents’ and grandmother’s house, and he’s staying with a friend.

Pousson said trees and power lines have knocked down fences. Trees can be cut, but removing power lines can only be done by utility companies, he said. “There’s a lot of damage everywhere.”

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