Farmers in Howard County who lose at least 30 percent of their cropsto the drought can apply for federal low-interest loans and emergency haying and grazing privileges.
The relief became available Monday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated Howard and 17 other Maryland counties as drought disaster areas.
Farmers seeking the 4.5 percent loans, which can be used for operating or living expenses, must apply to the Farmers Home Administration offices in their areas by April 9, 1992. Loans of up to $500,000 are available.
FmHA officials determine eligibility based on records of
average crop yields for the past five years.
Howard farmers must call the Frederick County office, at 663-5461, for applications.
To apply for emergency haying and grazing privileges on land federal officials pay farmers to leave uncultivated, farmers must contact the Maryland Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Service office. The phone number is 465-3470 in Howard County.
State officials plan to apply to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for emergency feed aid, said Carol Wathen, program specialist at the state ASCS office. Under that program, farmers would be eligible for half their feed costs.