Columbia, S.C. – During the last few days of disaster in South Carolina, focus has been exactly where it needs to be – protecting lives. Thank you to the first responders and public service providers who have been working diligently around the clock to keep people safe and assist those in need.
Now, as the water begins to subside, SC citizens will move ahead with clean-up and damage assessment. In rural areas, this means farmers and agricultural agencies are beginning to determine the amount of damage that has impacted agriculture across the state.
“While we know and understand how this devastating event has affected many people in many ways, from loss of life, homelessness, or just being inconvenienced in our daily routines, we do hope people will please remember farmers in their thoughts and prayers,” said South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation (SCFB) President David Winkles.
Winkles is in Washington, D.C. today visiting with USDA and government officials to discuss the importance and urgency of getting support to South Carolina’s farmers.
USDA Farm Service Agency, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Services, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, and other agricultural agencies are working together to collect damage reports from farmers. Much of the information has yet to make it to the state level, but in some areas there could be a total loss on what has not yet been harvested.
“Many crops were nearing harvest, and the torrential rainfall will delay harvest of cotton, soybeans, peanuts, and much more,” said Winkles. “Peanuts especially may be hard hit given that they may rot in the ground before they can be dug and harvested.”
After facing a summer of drought, the recent flooding is adding insult to injury. “We battled a drought all summer to produce a crop we are now watching get washed away,” said Orangeburg farmer Dean Hutto.
Clemson Extension Service is reaching out to farmers to fill out Flood Damage Assessment Forms. Please contact your county extension office for more information and to receive this form.
Officials ask farmers for help in reporting damage involving South Carolina agriculture. Farmers with extensive crop damage are asked to call their local extension office. Livestock and poultry growers should call 803-726-7813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.