(AP) Louisiana is the first state in the country to cut back on its cotton harvest due to a massive debt crisis.

The Louisiana Cotton Council says cotton output is down 27% over the past year, a drop that’s a stark contrast to the years before and after a massive crop failure in 2011.

That crop was one of the worst in the U.S. to date, with the crop costing Louisiana taxpayers $1 billion.LACOURTE, Louisiana (AP, 12-22-17) The Louisiana Cotton Board has announced it will halt cotton production starting Wednesday and cutting a total of 27,000 acres of land by the end of September, according to the LCC.

The plan is a direct result of the massive $2.4 billion debt that has been incurred to replace cotton, according the LCCC.LCC Executive Director Matt O’Connor said that the board is in dire straits and cannot afford to continue growing cotton at the current rate of decline.

The state has a total $5 billion in debt.

The LCC said that cotton production will be cut to about 30,000 tons this year, or a 20% drop from the current year, and to about 18,000 per year in 2022.

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