9 counties in Maryland named disaster areas

Maryland Watch

October 22, 1998

The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared nine Southern Maryland and Eastern Shore counties that suffered severe drought damage this summer federal disaster areas yesterday.

To qualify, the counties had to have posted at least a 30 percent loss of a major crop. The counties are: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Dorchester, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester.

A disaster declaration makes farmers in those counties eligible to apply for low-interest loans to help finance next year's planting.

Farmers in the neighboring counties of Montgomery, Howard, Baltimore, Kent, Queen Anne's, Caroline and Talbot also are eligible for low-interest loans because those counties were named contiguous disaster areas.

Corn, soybean and tobacco losses ranged between 30 percent and 65 percent.

"Agriculture is the backbone of Maryland's economy. Our farmers and our state's economy have suffered significantly from this summer's drought, and this declaration is critical in this time of need to help our farmers recover from their substantial losses," Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes said in announcing the government's action.

Pub Date: 10/22/98

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