By BRUCE SMITH
HARLEYVILLE, SC (WIS/AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley says the heavy rains this summer are a disaster for agriculture across South Carolina.
Haley visited a farm in Dorchester County on Monday where she looked at fields that are still soggy from recent rains.
She has asked for federal disaster aid, which would entitle affected farmer to low interest loans to recover.
"The amount of rain this year has been disastrous for our farmers and the rain is impacting our economy as we speak. It's times like these that we need to come together as a state and show the agribusiness community ‘we're going to have your back,'" said Haley. "South Carolina farmers are the ultimate small business survivors – constantly fighting to bring food to our stores and earn a living. If there was ever a time that South Carolinians need to show support for local farmers, it's now."
State agriculture commissioner Hugh Weathers toured with Haley. Weathers says the problems are not short-term. He says some farms have had a hard time harvesting hay. That could mean beef and dairy cattle could run low on feed next winter.
About two dozen farmers joined Haley during Monday's tour. Officials say it could be three months before they know if the disaster assistance will be approved, though Weathers expects a decision sooner.
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