Gov. Haley announces disaster assistance for farmers

Gov. Haley announces disaster assistance for farmers

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Governor Nikki Haley announced Wednesday farm operators in 29 counties can seek disaster assistance.

The United States Department of Agriculture Secretary, Thomas J. Vilsack, issued a disaster designation for counties in the state that suffered damage and losses due to the rain and flooding.

This comes following Haley's request for "disaster designation" in an October 19 letter.

This will give approved farm operators an opportunity to be considered for certain assistance from Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met.

The assistance will include FSA emergency loans.

"Farmers in eligible counties, which include both primary and contiguous counties, have eight months from the date of a secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans," a statement from the Governor's office reads.

"FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.

Twenty-nine counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas after the USDA determine a large amount of production loss had happened.

Those counties include:

Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Chester, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, Sumter and Williamsburg.

Thirteen counties were designated as contiguous disaster areas:

Abbeville, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Chesterfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, McCormick, Marlboro, Spartanburg, Union and York.

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