South Carolina Corn and Soybean Association Flood Resource Guide

first_imgWhat should my first step be? Per USDA, producers with coverage through the federal crop insurance program should contact their crop insurance agent. What if I’m not covered by crop insurance?The 2014 Farm Bill provides several programs regardless of participation in the federal crop insurance program. Farmers looking to explore disaster assistance options available to them should contact their county FSA office. The point of contact at the South Carolina state FSA office is Kenn Jameson, at 803-806-3820 ext. 107 or [email protected] A listing of the South Carolina FSA, NRCS and Rural Development offices can be found by clicking here. Farmers with questions should also contact their county Clemson Extension office, which can be found here.What exactly does the farm bill provide?Clemson Extension has compiled a package of information on the programs available to farmers, which can be downloaded here. This packet begins with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s (SCDA) Disaster Assessment Form, and contains factsheets on many of the programs available to South Carolina farmers. Per USDA, programs available to farmers include the following:Livestock Indemnity ProgramEmergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish ProgramEmergency Forest Restoration ProgramTree Assistance ProgramEmergency Conservation Program (Funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters)Emergency loans (Primary or contiguous disaster designation counties only)Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (Protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters)Environmental Quality Incentives Program (Financial assistance to repair and prevent excessive soil erosion)Emergency Watershed Protection Program (Funds recovery efforts like debris removal and streambank stabilization)What is the current status of our disaster designation?As of October 5, the following counties are covered under a presidential disaster declaration: Berkley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg. That federal register notice can be found here. The area is still awaiting an agricultural disaster designation from USDA Secretary Vilsack, but that request has been made.Per FSA, the county crop-loss threshold needed to qualify for an agricultural disaster declaration by USDA is 30 percent. The request for such a designation can come officially from Governor Haley’s office, but your congressional delegation can be a great help in moving that effort along. Regardless of the level of loss in your county (but especially if you’re above that 30 percent threshold), contact with Senators Graham and Scott, as well as your Member of Congress, is a very helpful first step toward ensuring that the Washington delegation of South Carolina lawmakers knows what this flooding will mean for Carolina farmers. Contact information for the agriculture staffer in each office is as follows: Rep. Jim ClyburnSC-6Lin Whitehouse202-225-3315 Sen. Lindsey GrahamSENJessica-Phillips Tyson202-224-5972 Rep. Mick MulvaneySC-5Moutray McLaren202-225-5501 What other resources are out there for me?Clemson Extension has compiled its news on the flooding, as well as its resources for farmers here.A listing of the South Carolina FSA, NRCS and Rural Development offices can be found by clicking here.Farmers with questions should also contact their county Clemson Extension office, which can be found here.Sen. Scott’s Flood Information page is here.Additional resources available to farmers include:Emergency Hay Exchange: For farmers also raising livestock, Clemson Extension is housing an emergency hay exchange for farmers in need. A listing of donor contact information, forage type and bale size can be found by clicking here.Flood Insurance and Credit: Clemson Extension has a fact sheet on the various options available to those impacted by floods here.Hurricane Insurance: While it remains to be seen if the flooding will be considered a result of Hurricane Joaquin, Clemson Extension houses a fact sheet on filing insurance claims (also likely a good how-to with regard to crop insurance claims) here.Timber Impact: For growers also in the timber industry, Clemson Extension has a briefing on impacts to forestry here.Pre-Harvest Safety Inspection: The South Carolina Department of Agriculture and Clemson Extension has staffed up its crop lab and is providing free sampling for contaminants in crops submerged in floodwaters. Additionally, SDCA is providing testing services for mold and mycotoxin in feed and hay as a result of flooding. Contact SCDA at 803-734-2210, or your county Clemson Extension office here for more on that program.More generally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operates a web portal through which Carolinians can apply for disaster assistance. That resource is available here. Governor Haley and the state’s Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) operates a similar portal here. Additionally, you may contact SCDA in Columbia at 803-734-2210. Sen. Tim ScottSENSpencer Pederson202-224-6121 Rep. Jeff DuncanSC-3David Jackson202-225-5301 Rep. Tom RiceSC-7Courtney Titus202-225-9895 Rep. Joe WilsonSC-2Taylor Andreae202-225-2452 Rep. Mark SanfordSC-1Roger Morse202-225-3176 Rep. Trey GowdySC-4Anna Bartlett202-225-6030last_img