If you’re ever on the Mermentau River farm in southern Louisiana, keep your eyes peeled.
In addition to 5,943 farmable acres, the property is an amazing wildlife habitat teeming with waterfowl and lots of alligators. It is prized as a duck-hunting haven. And, it has an interesting crop rotation that is unique to that area of the country – rice and crawfish.
William Currie, who oversees Farmland Partners’ assets in the Delta region, said the key to successful rice and crawfish production is water management.
Both crops need flooded fields for part of the year – hence the favorable wildlife habitat – and then need water removed at other times. This requires a sophisticated irrigation system.
“We’ve got two massive pumps on the bank of the Mermentau River that fills up a ditch system that runs many miles all over this farm so that we always have water,” he said. The system also helps drainage when necessary.
That isn’t the only improvement project on the farm. William said some parts of the property were in rough condition when Farmland Partners purchased it in 2021.
“We’re on a long-term improvement project out here and we’re partnering with our tenant to bring some land back into production, improve some fields that have been neglected over the years,” he explained. “It’s going really well.”
As part of the property improvements, Farmland Partners has teamed up with Ducks Unlimited on a land leveling project that will expand waterfowl habitat and increase ag productivity at the same time.
William said that the company also signed a longer-term lease with the tenant, giving him a vested interest to invest in maximizing the land’s production potential.
“We’re in this together,” William concluded. “We’re benefiting by increasing the long-term productivity of this farm.”
And by the looks of it, the wildlife may be the biggest beneficiaries of all.