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Programs available to aid S.C. agribusinesses, farmers

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S.C. agribusinesses have until the end of this month to apply for a tax credit for increasing purchases of products certified as grown in South Carolina by the state Department of Agriculture. 

The program provides a possible income tax credit or withholding tax credit to agribusinesses or agricultural packaging operations that purchase more than $100,000 in agricultural products certified as S.C.-grown in a base year, then increase the number of agricultural units purchased in the following year by at least 15%.

Eligible companies may claim an income tax credit or a credit against employee withholding as determined by the S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development. An individual taxpayer may not be awarded a credit of more than $100,000, and the maximum amount of tax credits allowed may not exceed $2 million. 

The application deadline to qualify for the credit is Sept. 30. For more information, contact Laura Jordan, assistant director of agribusiness development, at 803-734-1767 or

S.C. farmers and food processors may also be eligible to qualify for organic certification reimbursement through an agriculture department grant. 

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program will reimburse producers and handlers of agricultural products up to 50% of the operation's total allowable certification costs up to a maximum of $500 per certification scope. Certification categories include crops, livestock, wild crops and handling. 

The deadline to apply for reimbursement for the current fiscal year is Dec. 10. 

More information on the program, as well as three others available through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, is available online at

"Organic certification can open up new market opportunities for South Carolina farmers and companies," S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said in a news release. "Our cost share grant programs are a great use of public funds because they support agribusinesses that have skin in the game by paying back a portion of their investment."


Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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