WASHINGTON, Sep. 9, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 35 counties in South Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive heat and drought that occurred from May 1, 2015, and continues.

USDA Designates 35 Counties in South Carolina as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

Latawnya Dia
(202) 720-7962
Latawnya.Dia@wdc.usda.gov

WASHINGTON, Sep. 9, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 35 counties in South Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive heat and drought that occurred from May 1, 2015, and continues. Those counties are:

Our hearts go out to those South Carolina farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nations economy by sustaining the successes of Americas farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. Were also telling South Carolina producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in South Carolina also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

AbbevilleFairfieldMcCormick
AndersonGreenwoodOconee
Beaufort HamptonUnion
Charleston  

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Georgia and North Carolina also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Georgia

BurkeColumbiaRichmondScreven

North Carolina

AnsonGastonRichmondTransylvania
BrunswickHendersonRobesonUnion
ClevelandMecklenburgRutherford 
ColumbusPolkScotland 

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Sep. 9, 2015, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

FSA news releases are available on FSAs website at www.fsa.usda.gov via the Newsroom link.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.