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Freshly picked S.C. cotton
The federal government has declared South Carolina a natural disaster area after excessive rainfall pummeled the state since March.
Republican Gov. Nikki Haley requested federal disaster relief last week. The feds named 36 counties as primary natural disaster areas and the remaining 10 as contiguous disaster areas.
The designation means farmers in every South Carolina county can apply for emergency loans through the federal government within the next eight months.
The heavy rainfall has flooded fields and damaged crops across the state. One of the hardest his areas was Dorchester County, where Haley and S.C. Agricultural Commissioner Hugh Weathers visited a farm last week to assess the damage.
Other primary disaster counties in the Lowcountry include Beaufort, Berkley, Charleston and Jasper.
United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today told Haley the state approved her request for disaster relief, according to the state's agricultural department.
In a statement, Weathers said he was pleased with the federal government's quick response and grateful that Haley asked for it.
Vilsack, the USDA chief, is the former Democratic governor of Iowa and was appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama.