Media Contact: Stephanie Sox, 803-734-2196, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- October 11, 2016
Agriculture Officials Report Initial Damage Assessments
South Carolina- Agriculture officials from South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Clemson University, South Carolina Farm Bureau, Farm Credit and United States Department of Agriculture are working together to get an estimate of the scope of agricultural damage left in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Almost on the anniversary of last October’s flood, this storm has affected many of the same areas still trying to recover.
Early estimates indicate a significant loss of the cotton crop and moderate loss of soybeans. Many farmers were able to harvest peanuts before the storm hit, but seven of the twelve peanut buying points are without power so storage could soon become an issue. High-value fall fruits and vegetables saw an initial harvest, but subsequent harvest will be impacted. The poultry sector has reported mortality of approximately 203,000 birds. Many farms are still without electricity and are relying on generators to power the chicken houses.
“Farmers are facing very similar challenges to last October’s flooding and this natural disaster will be another significant setback to our state’s #1 industry,” said Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers. “We are working diligently to ensure the needs of the farming community are heard in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.”
Farmers are encouraged to complete Clemson’s online damage assessment form to aid officials in determining the full impact of the hurricane. The form is available at: clemson.edu/public/emergency