The process for South Carolina farmers to apply for state aid after last year’s October floods went smoothly, according to farmers who actually went through it.
The Orangeburg Times and Democrat this week interviewed those farmers who are now waiting to get their aid. South Carolina Farm Bureau President Harry Ott told the paper he had not received any complaints and that, on a scale of 1 to 10, the farm aid application process has been a 10. One farmer did tell the paper that it was taking longer to receive the assistance than he had expected.
Legislators in May voted to provide $40 million to help farmers after last October’s devastating floods. The legislation survived a veto by Gov. Nikki Haley, who believed it only benefitted one industry at the expense of others.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture said flooding caused $330 million worth of damage to crops during harvest season. Farmers were also hit with an additional $45 million in losses because they were unable plant winter crops in waterlogged soil, the agency said.
Aug. 15 was the deadline for most counties to apply for the aid. The deadline for Cherokee, Pickens and Oconee counties was Sept. 6. Farmers could receive coverage for up to 10 percent of their crop loss or $100,000, whichever is lower.