CLEMSON — While some offices remain closed, Clemson Extension agents across the state continue to help communities recover from the historic flood and are scouting fields to assess losses to the state’s $41.7 billion agriculture and forestry industry.
Many crops have already been lost to flood. Others may be lost in the coming weeks due to disease caused by wet conditions. Planting for the fall season will be disrupted. Crops that can be salvaged will be hard to reach given field flooding and road closures, said Brian Callahan, associate director of Clemson Extension.
“There is a lot to assess,” Callahan said. “We have never been through this before. Obviously this is devastating to so many people in the agricultural world. People are trying to save their livelihoods.”
Extension plans to estimate economic losses caused by flooding but those figures will take considerable time to calculate, he said.
Meanwhile, agents continue to help with cleanup efforts at public buildings and assist in the removal of debris from roadways.
Extension forestry agents are helping landowners evaluate tree damage and care for damaged trees properly. Extension stormwater experts will continue to educate the public on water quality and safety, a significant concern following a flood.
Extension livestock agents intend to develop a list of producers with hay for sale to help feed livestock. Clemson Livestock Poultry Health (LPH), a state regulatory agency that protects animal health and investigates diseases, continues to assess damages as well.
“It’s important that we know what problems we face so that resources can be allocated to meet the need,” said Charlotte Krugler, LPH emergency preparedness veterinarian. “The state also needs damage estimates as part of the second phase federal disaster application. We don’t know at this point what aid may be available, but we can be sure there will be none if the damage is not reported.”
Many Extension offices remain closed and may remain closed for an extended period of time. Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture has created a website with all the news about Extension office closings and other flooding news. Information is available online here, including a comprehensive list of flood disaster resources.
Despite the closures, local Extension personnel are available by email. A listing of contact information by county is available online at http://www.clemson.edu/extension/
This release provided by Clemson University