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USDA Approves Secretarial Disaster Designation request for SC after Excessive Summer Rains

South Carolina farmers hit hard by excessive summer rains will soon get some relief.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack notified Governor Nikki Haley today that he approved her request for a Secretarial disaster declaration for South Carolina counties that suffered losses due to excessive rains that began March 1, 2013.

The declaration comes a little more than a week after Governor Haley and Commissioner Hugh Weathers joined other agriculture leaders for a tour of one of the state’s hard hit areas, Dorchester County.

“I am pleased with Secretary Vilsack’s quick response to South Carolina’s request. The agriculture industry contributes greatly to the state’s economy, and this unusually wet summer has impacted the work of our farmers. I am grateful that Governor Haley recognizes the value of our industry and that she took the time to see what our growers face given the excess rains,” said South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.

Secretary Vilsack has designated the following 36 South Carolina counties as primary natural disaster areas:

Aiken      Calhoun      Darlington      Greenville      Marion      Saluda
Allendale      Charleston      Dillon      Hampton      Marlboro      Spartanburg
Bamberg      Cherokee      Dorchester      Horry      Newberry      Sumter
Barnwell      Chesterfield      Edgefield      Jasper      Orangeburg      Union
Beaufort      Clarendon      Florence      Laurens      Pickens      Williamsburg
Berkeley      Colleton      Georgetown      Lee      Richland      York

The following counties have been designated as contiguous disaster counties:

Abbeville      Chester      Greenwood      Lancaster      McCormick
Anderson      Fairfield      Kershaw      Lexington      Oconee

A Secretarial disaster designation means farmers in both primary and contiguous counties can apply for USDA Farms Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans. Farmers in those counties have eight months to apply from the date of the Secretarial Disaster Declaration. Interested farmers can contact their local FSA offices. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.