Farmers Recovering One Year After the Flood

Orangeburg County/Calhoun County, SC (WLTX) - Farmers across the Midlands are still recovering from the millions of dollars they lost in last year’s flood.

“We had good peanuts. We just couldn’t get them. The weather just. The weather destroyed them,” Farmer Monty Rast described of last year’s loss.

Rast says he lost $400,000 worth of crops at his farms in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties because of the flood.

“We have to work through these periods, we know that as farmers, but it’s a labor of love that’s what we enjoy doing, we heavily invested in it, you can’t get in and out just by on a whim you have to stick through the thick and thin,” Rast said.

“We lost 100 percent of our cotton crop, 90 percent of our peanut crop and about 50 percent of our soybean crop,” Farmer Bryan Dantzler out of Orangeburg County explained.

Dantzler hundreds of thousands too.

“Well it’s very disheartening. You put your time and effort into growing a crop and then when the time comes to harvest that crop and you lost your crop because of weather,” Dantzler said.

Across the state, farmers lost a total of $375 million in crops because of last year’s flood.

“So you just put your head down and keep moving forward,” Dantzler said.

“A lot of people decided that they’d had enough, the risk was too high and prices now are not as high as they should be,” Rast said of the people who retired after 2015’s bad farming season.

Both farmers say better days are here.

“I’s a much different year. It’s a better year. We’ve had a very good corn crop. Our peanut crop looks like it’s going to be pretty good, cotton is okay, soybeans are okay so we’re in a much better position than we were last year,” Dantzler said.

“We anticipate it taking between eight and ten years to really recover from this. With the help the legislative gave us, which is unprecedented around the country it will help mitigate some of those losses,” Rast said.

“It’s the only thing we do is farm so we’re not going to pull up and go to some other business, it’s what we do so we just keep plugging away,” Dantzler said.

Both farmers received aid from the $40 million in state aid to help them pay for their losses in last year’s flood.

The aid helped but farmers say it will still take years to fully recover.

(© 2016 WLTX)


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