« Can we break February rainfall record? | Main | Spring today; winter this weekend »

February 25, 2009

Shore counties get drought disaster okay

Crop losses during last year's drought were sufficient in the northern counties of the Eastern Shore to win a drought disaster declaration from the federal government. Farmers in those counties and those immediately adjacent will be eligible to apply for low-cost loans and other benefits.

Here is today's news release from the Maryland Department of Agriculture:

Maryland Receives Federal Crop Disaster Designation for Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne's Counties due to Drought

ANNAPOLIS, MD (Feb. 25, 2009) - Governor Martin O'Malley has received
notification from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J.
Vilsack that Maryland's request for a disaster designation for crop
losses due to a drought during the 2008 growing season has been
approved.  The February 19 letter stated that there were sufficient
production losses in Cecil, Kent, Caroline, and Queen Anne's counties to
warrant a Secretarial disaster designation.  The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) estimated production losses to be $29 million for hay and grain crops.

"Because farmers in the four northernmost Eastern Shore counties
experienced significant crop losses, we requested a disaster designation
and thank Secretary Vilsack for granting it," said Governor O'Malley.
"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."

"Rainfall on the Eastern Shore was spotty last summer causing some
areas to have a normal crop while other, sometimes adjacent land,
received almost none and had failing crops," said Roger Richardson,
Secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. 

This designation makes farm operators in the four primary counties as
well as contiguous counties - Dorchester, Harford and Talbot counties -
eligible to be considered for assistance from the USDA Farm Service
Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.  This assistance
includes FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance
Program which was approved as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.

USGSRainfall departures from normal based on National Weather
Service-gathered rain gauge reports between May 28 and November 23 of
this year were: Cecil County -1.0 inch; Kent County -3.0 inches; Queen
Anne's County - 2.8 inches; Caroline County -4.2 inches."

Much of the state is dry again this month. Here (left) are today's streamflow data from the USGS. The  dark red and bright red dots indicate record or near-record low volumes for this time of year.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 9:20 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Drought


Even more amazing is if you look at the streamflow for the nation. I don't remember ever seeing this mny low streamflow levels so widespread. It can't all be due to ice!

On the eastern shore, the daily records are breaking those set in 2002.

Unless we get some rain and/or snow, we could be headed for low streamflow and ground-water levels this summer.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

Sign up for FREE weather alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for weather text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Maryland Weather Center

Area Weather Stations
Resources and Sun coverage
• Weather news

• Readers' photos

• Data from the The Sun's weather station

• 2011 stargazers' calendar

• Become a backyard astronomer in five simple steps

• Baltimore Weather Archive
Daily airport weather data for Baltimore from 1948 to today

• National Weather Service:
Sterling Forecast Office

• Capital Weather Gang:
Washington Post weather blog

• CoCoRaHS:
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Local observations by volunteers

• Weather Bug:
Webcams across the state

• National Data Buoy Center:
Weather and ocean data from bay and ocean buoys

• U.S. Drought Monitor:
Weekly maps of drought conditions in the U.S.

• USGS Earthquake Hazards Program:
Real-time data on earthquakes

• Water data:
From the USGS, Maryland

• National Hurricane Center

• Air Now:
Government site for air quality information

• NWS Climate Prediction Center:
Long-term and seasonal forecasts

• U.S. Climate at a Glance:
NOAA interactive site for past climate data, national, state and city

• Clear Sky Clock:
Clear sky alerts for stargazers


• Hubblesite:
Home page for Hubble Space Telescope

• Heavens Above:
Everything for the backyard stargazer, tailored to your location

• NASA Eclipse Home Page:
Centuries of eclipse predictions

• Cruise Critic: Hurricane Zone:
Check to see how hurricanes may affect your cruise schedule

• Warming World:
NASA explains the science of climate change with articles, videos, “data visualizations,” and space-based imagery.

• What on Earth:
NASA blog on current research at the space agency.
Most Recent Comments
Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected