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Invasive species impacting Louisiana crops

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 25, 2020
A recent report from the LSU AgCenter regarding the apple snail (Pomacea maculata) sheds light on this foreign invasive species that is now negatively impacting two Louisiana food staples: crawfish and rice.
Apple snail
Pomacea maculata   Apple snail
The apple snail reportedly first appeared in a canal in Gretna, La. in 2006 and quickly infested ponds, bayous and streams in about 30 parishes.

Topics: Louisiana

According to the LSU AgCenter, the invasive apple snail has impacted crawfish farms in Vermilion, Acadia and Jefferson Davis parishes and has made its first appearance in rice fields.

In March, the invasive mollusks reportedly wiped out a 50-acre field of rice, marking the first reported case of the snail damaging the crop in Louisiana.

Pests often find their way into the ecosystem by people releasing aquatic animals and ornamental plants in areas they should not,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

“I urge everyone to be mindful of the damage that can be done when non-native pests and plants are introduced into the environment. Take the giant salvinia, for example. It is an exotic fern from South America that is fast-growing and has wreaked havoc on lakes and ponds by destroying native plants that provide food for animals and also clogs the waterways.”