Pee Dee farmers expect financial relief after October’s flood

farmer-assistance

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – South Carolina farmers who suffered during last October’s flood will soon get some financial relief.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture says checks are in the mail for farmers who applied for flood assistance.

Seventy one year-old Ivory Wilson is the owner of Wilson farms. He is waiting on his check to arrive in mail.

“You can’t live without bills,” said Wilson.

Wilson and his wife sets up shop Monday through Friday at the Pee Dee Farmer’s Market to make a living

Wilson owns land in Dillon and Marion Counties. He inherited the land from his family.

The flood is a constant reminder of what he’s been given.

“Most of the stuff we planted, we lost it,” added Wilson.

It was a burden they had not faced before.

“We we’re one of the only ones that were left behind after a family of fourteen left us to do the farming. One hundred forty five acres altogether,” Wilson said.

Earlier this year the state approved 40 million dollars in grants to help farmers.
Applications submitted confirm there was 75% crop loss as a result of the flood and  37% of those losses were covered by crop insurance.

Wilson says even farmers with the best insurance are struggling nowadays with what they have left.

“We have about sixty five acres of that, that we are able to work and the other will probably be good pasture for the cows,” he said.

Crops on the other hand like corn, beans, cucumbers, squash and sweet potatoes all went under water at Wilson Farms.

To help farmers like Ivory Wilson during tough times the South Carolina Department of Agriculture will mail more 1,200 checks to farmers on Friday.

“We would like to get paid like anybody else,” said Wilson.

Some farmers will get grants up to $100,000.

“It will make me feel good if the check is big enough,” Wilson added.

Now, the hope for many Pee Dee farmers is a check in their mailbox.

The assistance will cover up to 20% of a farmers’ losses from October’s floods and the months of waterlogged fields that followed.

For more on South Carolina Farm Aid, visit agriculture.sc.gov, or contact Stephanie Sox at 803-734-2196 orssox@scda.sc.gov.

 

 

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