Flood devastates South Carolina agriculture

The rain and floods that began on October 1 continue to have a devastating impact on South Carolina’s famers and landowners. Much of the water has receded, but it will take time to clean up the damage.

On October 28, U.S. Department of Agriculture listed 29 counties in South Carolina, as well as parts of Georgia and North Carolina, as natural disaster areas. Farm operators in those counties may be eligible for USDA’s low interest emergency loans or other programs. Farmers have until June 2016 to apply for assistance for their losses.

Nine of the effected counties are in the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor: Beaufort, Berkley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg.

For more information, see http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/newsReleases?area=newsroom&subject=landing&topic=edn&newstype=ednewsrel&type=detail&item=ed_20151028_rel_0176.html

South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers estimates crop losses in the state at $300 million. Heavy losses are in peanuts and cotton because these crops were just beginning harvest in October. Thousands of acres were under water for a time.

Other resources include the Flood Mitigation Program of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

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