Local farmers are eligible for low-interest federal loans after ice and snow blanketed the area Feb. 10-14.
Anita Jones of the York County Farm Service Agency said there was no crop or livestock damage from the storm. Jones knew of only three instances where barn roofs collapsed from the ice and snow.
No York County farmers have applied for the loans as of Monday, she said.
Typically, disaster loans are the last resort for farmers, said Arthur Black, president of the York County Farm Bureau. Farmers opt for the federal loans if “they have been turned down by others,” Black said.
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Black said some early varieties of peaches were affected by the storm. The biggest problem is the fields have been so wet, “you can’t get out to them,” he said.
Rusty Thompson said ice damaged a hay shed on his cattle farm that straddles the line between York and Chester counties. He said he is working to salvage the shed, which is located in Chester County.
Qualified farm operations in designated counties have eight months from the presidential disaster declaration to apply for loans to cover part of their losses. Criteria the Farm Service Agency will use to award loans include the extent of the loss, available security and the ability to repay the loans.
Federal assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities is available to farmers in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Marion, Orangeburg, Saluda, Sumter and Williamsburg counties.
York, Chester and Lancaster counties were not included in the federal declaration, but farmers in Lancaster County, which borders Chesterfield County, are eligible to apply for loans.
In all, the major disaster declaration for the period of March 10-14 covers 21 primary and 13 contiguous counties.
Farmers interested in applying should contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture office.
The York County Farm Service Agency is at 1460 E. Alexander Love Highway in York.