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U.S. House of Representatives
Wilson Announces Drought Disaster Relief Available
Department of Agriculture Designates all 46 Counties of S.C. Disaster Areas Due to Drought; All S.C. Farm Operators Eligible for Low-Interest Loans
“People all across South Carolina have been suffering under the drought, especially the farming community,” said Rep. Wilson. “I am very pleased that the Department of Agriculture has taken this step, because now we can offer some real and immediate assistance in the form of low-interest loans.”Today, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated all 46 counties of South Carolina as disaster areas due to the persistent drought conditions.
“People all across South Carolina have been suffering under the drought, especially the farming community,” said Rep. Wilson. “I am very pleased that the Department of Agriculture has taken this step, because now we can offer some real and immediate assistance in the form of low-interest loans.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the decision after a reviewing Damage Assessment Reports and survey information provided by the S.C. State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The review found that all S.C. counties warranted a Secretarial disaster designation, based on losses caused by drought that occurred from April 1 through November 30, 2002.
This designation will allow farmers to apply for emergency loan funds from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to restore or replace essential property, pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation, and refinance certain debts.
Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses, to a maximum amount of $500,000 at an interest rate of 3.75 percent. Applications for emergency loans must be received within 8 months of the county’s disaster date.
Further information on the emergency loan program is available from local USDA Service Centers or on the FSA website at: www.fsa.usda.gov and www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/disaster/emloan.htm.