Farmers can sign up for state aid starting July 1st

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – After much back and forth in Columbia, $40 million in aid is on its way to the farmers most affected by the October 2015 floods.

Starting this Friday, the state Department of Agriculture–along with extension agents from around the state–will host meetings where farmers can sign up for that help.

Those farmers applying must be able to prove they lost %40 percent or more of the crops of commodities in the floods. They must also show that their crops were planted before October of 2015.

The most that any one farm or entity can get back is $100,000. This may seem like a lot of money to many, including some farmers. But state officials tell News 13 that the losses from farms in just the Pee Dee counties of Florence, Marion, and Darlington could easily cover the $40 million being offered.

John Lawhon has been brining the yields from the farm he and his brother run to the Pee Dee Farmers market for nearly a decade.

“It was raining so much we couldn’t get into the fields,” he remembers. They lost an entire soybean crop in the floods. He’s hoping they can get some of that money back when they attend a meeting soon.

“It’s not going to be enough, but any little bit helps the farmer,” Lawhon said. “Because without any help we’re just down and out.”

The first meeting will be this Friday at 10 a.m. at Brown’s Bar-B-Q in Kingstree, 809 N. Williamsburg Highway/US 52.

Farmers should bring as much documentation as possible and come even if they aren’t sure they are eligible.

The remaining scheduled meetings are:

–Tuesday, 7/5 10-noon at J.J. Mitcheom Community Center. 2221 Hemingway Highway/SC261 Hemingway

–Tuesday 7/5 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. at Tommy Lee’s Farm Shed, 13797 Plowden Mill Road, Alcolu. Meal Provided

–Wednesday 7/6 10-noon at The Bean Market, 111 Henry St. Lake City

–Wednesday 7/6 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, 1355 E McIver Rd, Darlington

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