COLUMBIA –Fairfield County is one of 29 counties that has been designated as a primary natural disaster areas after the U.S. Department of Agriculture determined sufficient production losses had occurred due to heavy rains and flooding.
Gov. Nikki Haley requested the disaster designation in an Oct. 19 letter. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack issued the disaster designation for counties in South Carolina.
A secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met.
This assistance includes 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. 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.
Local FSA offices, administered by the S.C. State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, can provide affected farmers with further information.
In addition to Fairfield County, the following 28 counties were also designated as primary natural disaster areas:
Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Chester, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, Sumter and Williamsburg.
The following counties have been named as contiguous disaster counties: Abbeville, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Chesterfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, McCormick, Marlboro, Spartanburg, Union and York.