COLUMBIA, S.C. — Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor moved parts of six South Carolina counties into the D3, or “extreme drought” category, confirming what farmers in the state already know: The dry conditions have gotten worse.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is hearing reports from farmers of insect infestations, reduced crop yields, and dry pasture. However, until harvest season is over, no comparative data will be available on how the drought has affected yields and livestock this year.
“Farms across many parts of the state are suffering the effects of hot weather and not enough rain,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “Slightly lower temperatures this week should provide some relief, but this drought is tough on our South Carolina farmers.”
The D3 classification will allow certain farmers with cattle on pastured land to apply for relief payments through the Livestock Forage Program.
The Department of Agriculture encourages farmers to report drought conditions through a simple, mobile-friendly online tool at our website, agriculture.sc.gov.
–Katherine Helms, SCDA