ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 8, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley issued this statement following U.S. Department of Agriculture designation of 22 counties in Maryland as natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that occurred June 1 through Aug. 31, 2010. The counties are Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worchester. Harford County and Baltimore City were issued contiguous designations.
"Late last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved our request for a disaster designation for crop losses suffered by Maryland farmers due to drought and excessive heat during the 2010 growing season. I want to thank Secretary Vilsack for granting our request. This designation recognizes crop losses of 30 percent or more in 22 counties. It is our hope that the designation will provide relief to the farmers who need it and help them prepare for the upcoming growing season.
“This designation makes farm operators in all Maryland counties and Baltimore City eligible for assistance from USDA Farm Service Agency. This assistance includes Farm Service Agency emergency loans and other assistance. Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers and ranchers with additional information. The O'Malley-Brown Administration is doing all we can to help keep agriculture profitable and preserve open, productive farmland in our state."