State agriculture officials say the U.S. Department of Agriculture has guaranteed that Morganza Spillway farmers whose crops were damaged by flooding caused by the Mississippi River will be eligible for crop insurance payments in accordance with their crop insurance policies.Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says the ruling includes farmers in the larger Atchafalaya Basin area whose crops will also be inundated by water after the spillway opened Saturday.

Strain also said that farmers who are unable to plant but bought crop insurance will also be eligible for prevented planting payments.

An estimated 15,256 acres of crops in the spillway and basin and another 2,853 in the area between the spillway gates and Mississippi River will be lost as a result of the diversions.